Pakistan Cricket Team Calls 3 Uncapped Players for Australia Tour
Pakistan on Monday called up players Saim Ayub, Aamir Jamal and Khurrum Shehzad for the three-Test series in Australia starting in December after fast bowler Naseem Shah failed to recover from shoulder surgery for the tour. Shan Masood will lead the 18-man squad against Australia with a new chief selector and Wahab Riaz also recalls left-arm pacer Mir Hamza for the tour, where nine players from the World Cup squad have also been retained. Pakistan play three Tests before moving on to New Zealand for five T20 internationals, but Wahab only named the Test squad on Monday. While Saim Ayub has played 8 T20 internationals and Aamir Jamal four T20 matches, Saim Ayub has played a magnificent opening match and pace bowler Khurrum Shehzad has been called up for the first time by Pakistani selectors due to his impressive performances in domestic cricket .
Wahab said Naseem, who was injured during the Asia Cup and later underwent shoulder surgery in Britain, would start bowling at 50-60 per cent capacity in three weeks, so he was not available for the tour.
Mir Hamza last played a Test against New Zealand in Karachi last January but was then dropped for Sri Lanka’s tour.
Former captain, Babar Azam, Muhammad Rizwan, Saud Shakeel, Agha Salman, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Imam ul Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Muhammad Wasim junior have been retained from the World Cup squad.
The selectors have overlooked opener Fakhar Zaman, fast bowler Haris Rauf, leg-spinner Usama Mir, all-rounders Shadab Khan and Iftikhar Ahmed for the Test tour from the World Cup squad.
Former captain and wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed, spinner, Abrar Ahmed, spinner Noman Ali all played in the June-July Test series in Sri Lanka, while all-rounder Faheem Ashraf’s last Test appearance was in December 2022 against England.
Wahab added that they had spoken to fast bowler Haris Rauf about the tour and he had initially agreed to play Tests two days ago, but last night he called and made himself unavailable for the tour.
“He has concerns about workload and fitness issues,” he said.
Wahab said the team had been selected keeping in mind the challenging Australian conditions.
“We have kept the pitches in mind and added more pace bowling resources to the team to ensure that the management can be flexible with the team combinations in all three Test matches,” he said.
“Saim Ayub has been added to the squad following the exceptional domestic season he has had this year. He has impressed with the bat during the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy and the Pakistan Cup, pushing the case for his selection. His inclusion will strengthen our solid batting line-up.
“Pakistan have started the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 very well, after their success in Sri Lanka earlier this year. We hope the team can carry this momentum forward in Australia as well. We have tried to ensure that the team has all relevant resources to find success in Australia.” The team will have a training camp in Rawalpindi from November 23 to 28 before flying out on November 30 from Lahore.
1st Test – Perth, 14-18 December 2023 2nd Test – Melbourne, 26-30 December 2023 3rd Test – Sydney, 3-7 January 2024.
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