Pakistan announces squad for Test series against Sri Lanka

Pakistan has revealed its 16-member squad for the upcoming two-match Test series against Sri Lanka, scheduled to take place in July. The squad includes the highly anticipated return of star paceman Shaheen Afridi, who last played in the longest format in July 2022 before sustaining a knee injury during a Test against Sri Lanka.

In a bid to inject fresh talent into the team, Pakistan has also decided to include two uncapped players in the squad. Batsman Mohammad Huraira and all-rounder Aamir Jamal have earned their maiden call-ups to the national side, highlighting the selectors’ focus on nurturing young talent.

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The squad will be led by captain Babar Azam, who will have the services of other key players at his disposal, including Mohammad Rizwan, Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Hasan Ali, and Naseem Shah. However, it is the return of Shaheen Afridi that will undoubtedly boost Babar Azam’s confidence in the bowling department.

Expressing his excitement on his return to Test cricket, Shaheen Afridi stated, “I am very thrilled to make a comeback to the Pakistan Test side after a year. Test cricket is something I dearly missed, and it was challenging to be away from this format. After missing the entire home season due to the injury I suffered in Sri Lanka, I am eager to make a strong comeback in the same country and complete a century of wickets in Test cricket.” Currently, Shaheen Afridi has 99 wickets from 25 Test matches, boasting an impressive average of 24.86.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced that the team would assemble in Karachi on July 3 to prepare for the series before departing on July 9. The detailed schedule for the tour is expected to be released soon.

These two Test matches will contribute to the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle, adding further significance to the series. Both Pakistan and Sri Lanka will aim to accumulate valuable points in their quest for a top position in the championship standings.

The Pakistan squad consists of Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain and wicketkeeper), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Huraira, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Noman Ali, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Afridi, and Shan Masood.