PCB announces Test squad for Sri Lanka series

LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday announced an 18-member squad for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka, recalling leg-spinner Yasir Shah after a long time.

Yasir was instrumental in Pakistan’s 2-1 victory over Sri Lanka on their last tour of the island in 2015, snaring 24 wickets at 19.33. He comes back into the side after regaining full fitness. Yasir played his 46th and last Test, to date, against the West Indies in August 2021.

Salman Ali Agha, who has scored 4,224 runs and taken 88 wickets in first-class, is another addition to the squad. Mohammad Nawaz is the third player to be recalled. He was named in the squad for Australia Tests but was withdrawn due to injury.

Babar Azam-led Pakistan squad includes Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain, wicketkeeper), Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, and Yasir Shah

Chief selector Muhammad Wasim said they have selected this squad considering the conditions in Sri Lanka and have equipped the team with the best possible resources.

“Our spin department is boosted with the return of Yasir Shah, who proved himself as a match-winner in Sri Lanka on our last tour and Sajid Khan has made the way for him. The spin department also includes two spin all-rounders in Mohammad Nawaz and Salman Ali Agha and left-arm orthodox Nauman Ali.”

Defending Salman Ali Agha’s inclusion in the team, Wasim said the player has shown consistent performances with the bat in the past three seasons and he is a handy off-spin option.

Pakistan will play a three-day warm-up match between 11-13 July. The first Test will be played at Galle from 16 July, while the second Test will be staged at Colombo from 24 July.