Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), on Friday announced a 20-member squad for the upcoming two-match Test series against South Africa. The Pakistan Cricket team will lock horns against South Africa in a home series comprising two Test matches and three One Day Internationals from January 26 to February 14.
Babar Azam, who missed the red-ball matches on New Zealand tour due to injury, is fit to lead the side once again.
While addressing the media, PCB chief selector Mohammad Wasim said Shan Masood, Mohammad Abbas and Haris Sohail have been dropped from the squad while Shadab Khan and Naseem Shah were not picked due to fitness problems.
Openers Abdullah Shafique and Imran Butt, middle-order batsmen Kamran Ghulam, Salman Ali Agha and Saud Shakeel, spinners Nauman Ali and Sajid Khan, and fast bowlers Haris Rauf and Tabish Khan have been rewarded for their stellar performances in the 2020-21 domestic season, including the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.
“This is a reward for their consistent performance, hard work and perseverance during a difficult season played under the strict COVID-19 protocols. This is also an endorsement that domestic cricket will be valued and respected, and will remain a stepping stone for international cricket,” Wasim said.
The South African cricketers will arrive in Karachi on Saturday for their first visit to Pakistan since 2007. They will also complete a five-day quarantine period at their hotel before beginning the training. Last week, Cricket South Africa had announced a strong Proteas squad for the tour with fast bowler Kagiso Rabada making a return after injury issues.
Pakistan Test Squad to South Africa Series:
Openers: Abid Ali (Central Punjab), Abdullah Shafique (Central Punjab), Imran Butt (Balochistan)
Middle-order batsmen: Azhar Ali (Central Punjab), Babar Azam (captain, Central Punjab), Salman Ali Agha (Southern Punjab), Saud Shakeel (Sindh), Fawad Alam (Sindh), Kamran Ghulam (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)
All-rounders: Faheem Ashraf (Central Punjab), Mohammad Nawaz (Northern)
Wicketkeepers: Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Sarfaraz Ahmed (Sindh)
Spinners: Nauman Ali (Northern), Sajid Khan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Yasir Shah (Balochistan)
Fast bowlers: Shaheen Shah Afridi (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Tabish Khan (Sindh), Haris Rauf (Northern), Hasan Ali (Central Punjab)