Spinner Abrar Ahmed and fast bowler Mohammad Ali have been rewarded for their strong first-class performances with maiden Test call-ups as Pakistan announced an 18-player squad for December’s three ICC World Test Championship matches against England.
Twenty-four-year-old Abrar is in red-hot form in the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. Before the start of the last round on Sunday (20 November), Abrar had claimed 43 wickets at an average of 21.95. He has recorded five five-wicket hauls in six matches.
Central Punjab’s Mohammad Ali has been the best fast bowler in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in the last two editions, taking 56 wickets. His 24 wickets, including two five wicket hauls, at 25.54 in six matches are the most for any fast bowler this first-class season. His 32 wickets at 22.78 in eight matches in 2021-22 were also the most for a fast bowler.
Pakistan squad for England Tests:
Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (vc & wk), Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shan Masood and Zahid Mehmood
There are four changes in the squad from Pakistan’s last Test assignment, which was in Sri Lanka that resulted in the two-Test series ending 1-1. The four players who are not part of the side are Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Fawad Alam and Yasir Shah.
ICC World Test Championship:
The three Tests are part of the ICC World Test Championship. The tests are scheduled to be played in Rawalpindi, Multan, and Karachi. Each of the nine teamsplaysy six series – three at home and three away – in the 2021-23 cycle.
The upcoming series is Pakistan’s fifth – their last series will be the two Tests against New Zealand in December 2022 and January 2023. These three Tests will be England’s final appearance in the second edition of the World Test Championship.
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