On Friday, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced the 29-player squad for three Tests and three T20Is against England to be played in August-September. The matches will be played behind closed doors as part of security measures to stay safe from COVID-19.
An extended squad, including white-ball specialists, is being sent to England under SOPs in the wake of COVID-19, will remain in England from start to finish.
Haider Ali and Kashif Bhatti are the two uncapped players named in the squad. The selectors have also named four reserves in Bilal Asif, Imran Butt, Musa Khan and Mohammad Nawaz as a cover in case any of the players fail pre-tour COVID-19 testing, which will be carried out on 20 and 25 June.
Fast bowlers Hasan Ali and Mohammad Amir, and middle-order batsman Haris were not available for selection. Hasan is suffering from a back injury, Amir withdrew so he can be at the birth of his second child in August while Haris took the option of pulling out of the tour due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pakistan Squad for England Tour
Batsmen: Abid Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali (captain), Babar Azam (Test vice-captain and T20I captain), Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmad, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik.
Wicket-keepers: Mohammad Rizwan and Sarfaraz Ahmed.
Bowlers: Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imran Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz, Imad Wasim, Kashif Bhatti, Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah.
At the announcement, chief selector and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq said, “The selectors have picked a squad which gives us the best chance of success in England. It was a challenging process as the players have not played for an extended period, but with the month that we will have in England and the intense training we will undergo, we are confident we will get the players up to the mark to be ready for the three Tests.”
“But the primary focus of the selectors has been red-ball cricket, which we will play for nearly two months with the T20Is to be played at the back-end of the ICC World Test Championship fixtures,” he added.
“The series against England will be challenging as our players have not played any competitive cricket since March, while the home team will come following a series against the West Indies. This means we will have to hit the ground running as soon as we land in England and make the best use of the training sessions and match practice before we enter the first Test,” he said.
“The players have also been selected with one eye on the future. I want these players to acquire as much cricket knowledge as possible from the additional backroom staff of Mushtaq Ahmed and Younis Khan that can help them post the England tour,” he concluded.
PCB also named the 14 support staff for the tour, which include Misbah-ul-Haq as head coach and Mansoor Rana as team manager.
Player Support Personnel: Mansoor Rana (manager), Misbah-ul-Haq (head coach), Shahid Aslam (assistant to head coach), Younis Khan (batting coach), Waqar Younis (bowling coach), Mushtaq Ahmed (spin bowling coach), Abdul Majeed (fielding coach), Talha Butt (team analyst), Yasir Malik (strength and conditioning coach), Cliff Deacon (physiotherapist), Malang Ali (masseur), Dr Sohail Saleem (team doctor), Lt Col (retd) Usman Riffat (security manager) and Raza Kitchlew (media manager).
Pakistan team will fly for England, later this month, at least five weeks before the official start of the series. Pakistan team will be kept in Birmingham for training and quarantine.