Pakistan announce squad for Test series against England; Fawad, Hasan dropped


Pakistan Cricket Board on Monday announced their 18-member squad for the three-match Test series against England in December, spinner Abrar Ahmed and fast bowler Mohammad Ali received maiden Test call-ups.
For the first time since 2005, England are set to tour Pakistan for a Test series. Rawalpindi will host the first Test before the action moves to Karachi and Multan for the subsequent games. Amongst the omissions, notable names include Fawad Alam, Hasan Ali, Yasir Shah and Shaheen Afridi. Afridi recently underwent surgery on his appendix as the star pacer continues his recovery from his ongoing knee injury.
The series will be crucial for Pakistan to keep their hopes of making the World Test Championship Final alive. Babar Azam’s men are currently placed fifth in the standings with a point percentage of 51.85.
24-year-old Abrar is in red-hot form in the ongoing Quaid-e-Azam Trophy. Before the start of the last round on Sunday (20 November), Abrar had claimed 43 wickets at an average of 21.95. He has recorded five five-wicket hauls in six matches and has played an integral role in turning his side into serious contenders to secure a berth in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final.
Central Punjab’s Mohammad Ali has been the best fast bowler in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in the last two editions, taking 56 wickets. His 24 wickets, including two five wicket hauls, at 25.54 in six matches are the most for any fast bowler this first-class season. His 32 wickets at 22.78 in eight matches in 2021-22 were also the most for a fast bowler.