Amir gets berth in Test squad for England tour
This would be Amir’s first appearance in a Test match since his return to international cricket after a five-year suspension for spot-fixing. He had received a spot-fixing ban against the same opponents.
The 24-year-old, who also served a custodial sentence for the offence, is expected to receive his British visa in the next couple of days following a special request for leniency from the Pakistan Cricket Board.
“Amir is expected to get visa in the next couple of days and (Mohammad) Hafeez is also cleared by medical staff so we have included him,” Chief Selector Inzamam-ul-Haq told a press conference in Lahore.
Inzamam said selection was made after consultations with fitness trainers, Head Coach Mickey Arthur and other executives.
He said fast bowler Junaid Khan needed time to get into ‘rhythm’; he has been replaced by Sohail Khan.To a query, the former skipper said, “We do not expect clean sweep against England, but performance of every individual matters.”
The Test squad will be led by Misbah-ul-Haq, who took on the captaincy in October 2010, a few months after the spot-fixing scandal.
Opener Hafeez was selected subject to his full recovery from a knee injury sustained two months ago, with selectors deciding to include him after team medics said he would regain fitness in the next few days.
Regular opener Ahmed Shehzad was not selected over disciplinary problems, leaving the opening positions to the inexperienced left-handed pair of Shan Masood, who has played seven Tests, and Sami Aslam, who has played one.
Aslam, 20, however, starred against England during a Pakistan junior team tour in 2013, when he hit three centuries.
Pakistan’s batting will also be tested but the experienced Younis Khan — who toured England in 2001 and 2006 — will be their mainstay.
Besides Younis, Azhar Ali and Hafeez are the only two who have played previously played Tests in England before.
Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali, Sohail Khan and Imran Khan will round out the pace attack while leg spinner Yasir Shah and left-armer Zulfiqar Babar are the two spinners.
The team are likely to leave for the tour on June 18 and hold a training camp in Hampshire before their first match against Somerset starting on July 5 and another against Sussex from July 8.
Misbah-ul-Haq (captain), Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Iftikhar Ahmed,
Wicket Keepers: Sarfraz Ahmed and Mohammad Rizwan.
Openers: Mohammad Hafeez (subject to fitness), Shan Masood and Sami Aslam
Spinners: Yasir Shah and Zulfiqar Babar
Fast bowlers: Mohammad Amir (subject to visa approval), Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali, Sohail Khan, Imran Khan
A team for the following five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 will be announced later.