The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has unveiled the Test squad for the upcoming two-match series against Sri Lanka, with fast bowler Shaheen Afridi making a return to the team.
The squad announcement also includes two new faces, uncapped batter Mohammad Huraira and all-rounder Aamir Jamal.
The tour marks Pakistan’s first assignment in the third cycle of the ICC World Test Championship.
The 23-year-old pacer is just one wicket away from reaching the milestone of 100 Test wickets.
Since his debut on December 3, 2018, no Pakistani bowler has claimed more wickets than Afridi. He averages 24.86 and has an economy of 3.04.
Expressing his pleasure to be back in the Test side, Shaheen said: “I am very excited to be returning to the Pakistan Test side after a year. I dearly missed Test cricket and it was tough for me to be away from this format.
“After missing our entire home season because of the injury I suffered in Sri Lanka, I am eager to make an impactful comeback in the same country and complete a century of wickets in Test cricket. I want to thank my fans who have provided me support in tough times and I am ready for the challenges ahead,” he added.
The 16-member squad has been carefully selected to cater to the conditions that Pakistan is likely to encounter in Sri Lanka. It comprises a balanced combination of players, including four spinners, four fast bowlers, six specialist batters, and two wicketkeeper-batters.
The first Test is scheduled to take place from July 7 to 11 at a venue yet to be confirmed, while the second Test will be held from July 15 to 19 at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
According to the official website of the PCB, the men’s national selection committee has announced the Test squad, taking into consideration the conditions that the team is expected to face in Sri Lanka.
Pakistan and Sri Lanka last played a Test series in July 2022 that was drawn 1-1.
The national team will assemble in Karachi on July 3 for a camp ahead of their departure for Sri Lanka on July 9. The itinerary of the tour will be announced by Sri Lanka Cricket in due course.
Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (vc & wk), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Huraira, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Noman Ali, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Afridi and Shan Masood