Pakistan announce Test squad for England, Ireland tours; include four uncapped players

Sports       by Usman Arshad | Published

Pakistan have included five uncapped players in an inexperienced Test squad for the tour of England and Ireland.

Imam, the 22-year-old nephew of Inzamam who made a century on his ODI debut against Sri Lanka late last year, was given a chance in the longer format of the game.

Pakistan will miss Yasir Shah - out owing to a hip injury - dearly in the series as the young Shadab Khan will be the lone specialist spinner accompanying the team.

"Yasir's absence is a big loss", Inzamam was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

"If we look at his numbers (of wickets) for the last two years, he has more wickets than any other bowler for Pakistan".

The team will be led by team captain Sarfaraz Ahmed, while Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Asad Shafiq, Usman Salahuddin, Shadab Khan and Muhammad Amir are going to be playing against England and Ireland.

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In the absence of Yasir, Pakistan's spin workload with fall on Shadab Khan, who has performed well in limited-overs cricket but has played only one Test match.

Ali has been in stellar form in Pakistan's first-class circuit, having scored 3,473 runs in 50 games at an impressive 46.93.

Fawad Alam failed to make the cut after being included in an initial 25-man training squad, while a knee injury ruled out fellow batsman Shan Masood.

Pakistan will begin their tour with a four-day warm-up match against county side Kent before taking on Ireland in a one-off test match on May 11: the first-ever played by the Irish.

The tourists then move on to Lord's for the series opener against England before rounding out the Test leg of their trip at Headingley.

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