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Wahab Riaz, Faheem Ashraf included in 20-man shortlist for England Tests
Pakistan News

Wahab Riaz, Faheem Ashraf included in 20-man shortlist for England Tests

Wahab Riaz and Faheem Ashraf have been named in Pakistan's 20-member shortlisted squad announced for the forthcoming three-Test series against England.

Wahab last represented Pakistan in a Test two years ago before he took an indefinite break from red-ball cricket in September 2019.

His decision to step away from the longer version of the game along with paceman Mohammad Amir attracted criticism from many, leading to his omission from Pakistan's central contract list for the 2020/21 season.

He subsequently made himself available for Tests last month considering the "unusual circumstances" created by the coronavirus pandemic that has forced a condensed schedule of fixtures.

He went wicketless in the first intra-squad warm-up game in Derby and was not a part of the second four-day match involving teams captained by Azhar Ali and Sarfaraz Ahmed.

Pakistan's pace bowling resources have been beefed up with the inclusion of seam-bowling all-rounder Faheem as well.

Although the 26-year-old is generally touted as a white-ball specialist, he previously played both games during Pakistan's Test tour of England in 2018. His last red-ball appearance for Pakistan came against South Africa in January 2019.

Additionally, Pakistan have kept former skipper Sarfaraz in the squad as the second-choice wicketkeeper behind Mohammad Rizwan.

Sarfaraz was stripped of the national team's captaincy for all three formats ahead of the Australia tour and has not played for Pakistan since.

Meanwhile, Abid Ali and Imam-ul-Haq, both of whom suffered injury scares in the warm-up encounters, have recovered and have found a place in the squad.

In the spin bowling department, Pakistan have opted for veteran leggie Yasir Shah, uncapped Kashif Bhatti and all-rounder Shadab Khan.

"The remaining nine players - Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imad Wasim, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Hasnain and Musa Khan - will continue to train with the squad for the T20I series, which will be played at the backend of the Test series," the PCB's media release read.

Pakistan squad

Azhar Ali (capt), Babar Azam, Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan Snr, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Naseem Shah, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz, Yasir Shah