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Imad, Haris return, uncapped Azam Khan named for England, WI series

Azam Khan, 22, is currently playing for Quetta Gladiators in PSL. Source: Cricket Pakistan/PSL

LAHORE: Pakistan cricket selectors have recalled four experienced players and included uncapped Azam Khan in the squads for the upcoming tours of England and West Indies.

The side will play three ODIs and as many T20Is in England from 8-20 July, before taking on world champions West Indies in five T20Is that will be followed by two Tests. Pakistan cricket team is scheduled to depart for England on June 25 after concluding the remaining matches of the Pakstan Super League (PSL)

Middle-order batsman Haris Sohail has been named in the ODI side, while Imad Wasim has returned to bolster the T20I side. Fast bowlers Mohammad Abbas and Naseem Shah have returned to the Test side.

Yasir Shah’s inclusion is subject to fitness as the wrist spinner is yet to fully recover from the knee injury that sidelined him from the Zimbabwe Tests. The selectors have retained leg-spinner Zahid Mahmood along with left-arm spinner Nauman Ali and off-spinner Sajid Khan for the Jamaica Tests.

Uncapped Saud Shakeel has also reclaimed his spot after missing South Africa ODIs due to an injury. Salman Ali Agha, who has lost his Test spot, has been called up for ODIs.

Fakhar Zaman has maintained his place in the original squad after being drafted as an additional player for Zimbabwe T20Is following a stellar performance in South Africa. Youngster Azam Khan, the 22-year-old hard-hitting batsman, is the new face in the T20I squad.

Chief selector Muhammad Wasim said they have remained consistent in selection and kept the same core of cricketers who have been in the set-up for a while.

“As such, keeping in view the above and in consultation with captain Babar Azam and head Misbah-ul-Haq, we have tried our best to maintain the winning combinations but at the same time recalled four experienced players and rewarded uncapped Azam Khan for his domestic performance, while also giving him the required confidence for the future challenges.

“Mohammad Abbas has regained his form, Naseem Shah and Haris Sohail have reclaimed the required fitness standards, while Imad Wasim has been recalled considering the T20 World Cup is likely to be held in the UAE and he enjoys an excellent record there.

“The return of these four players meant we had to leave some players, which is never an easy decision. But we have collectively opted for what was in the best interest of the side, taking into consideration the opponents and the requirement of the formats on the upcoming tours.

He said players who have missed on selection will continue to work on their technical game at the National High Performance Centre under the watchful eyes of Mohammad Yousuf and Saqlain Mushtaq.