16-member test squad for Sri Lanka series finalized


LAHORE, Sept 16 (TNS): The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has included young pacer Mir Hamza in the 16-member squad for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka.

The squad, finalized by the selection committee, will be formally announced today (Saturday).

25-year-old Mir Hamza from Karachi has an impressive record of 216 wickets in 46 first-class matches which he has played during the last four years.

Interestingly, young spinner Shadab Khan and experienced all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez are omitted from the squad. Opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad also failed to impress selectors with his performance in first class cricket last season.

However, opening batsman Shan Masood is included in the squad for the two-match Test series which starts later this month in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Sami Aslam has also returned to the squad in place of Ahmed Shehzad.

Another notable, albeit surprising, inclusion in the Test squad is of 31-year old all-rounder Bilal Asif, who has only 15 first-class matches to his name. He has also represented Pakistan in three ODIs.

In the middle-order batting lineup, Haris Sohail and Usman Salahuddin are included in the list to fill the gap left by retirement of experienced duo of Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq.

Here’s the 16-member team for the Test series:

Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz Ahmed, Usman Salahuddin, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Asghar, Mohammad Abbas, Bilal Asif, Mir Hamza and Wahab Riaz.