Fri, 08 Dec 2023

Karachi [Pakistan], November 20 (ANI): Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday announced an 18-member squad for a three-match Test series against Australia.

Pakistan Test squad will tour Australia for three Test matches scheduled from December 14 to January 7, 2024. Following the recent ICC World Cup 2023, Pakistani cricket has seen many changes, including the departure of Babar Azam in his role as captain.

Shan Masood will be leading the side in his first assignment as Test captain. He was named Pakistan's captain for the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 cycle after taking over the reins from Babar Azam last week.

Left-handed opening batter Saim Ayub and right-arm fast bowler Khurram Shahzad have earned maiden Test call-ups for the three-match series.

Pace bowling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf, who last appeared in Tests for Pakistan during England's tour of Pakistan in late 2022, has returned to the squad.

Left-arm pacer Mir Hamza, who registered 32 wickets at 20.88 in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2023-24, and right-arm pacer Mohammad Wasim Jnr are making a return to the squad as well.

The two fast bowlers were part of Pakistan's squad during New Zealand's tour of Pakistan that took place from December 2022 to January 2023.

"The squad has been assembled keeping in mind the challenging Australian conditions. We have kept the pitches in mind and added more pace bowling resources to the team to ensure that the management can be flexible with the team combinations in all three Test matches," Chief Selector Wahab Riaz said, according to an official statement.

"Saim Ayub has been added to the squad after the extraordinary domestic season he has had this year. He has impressed with the bat during the Quaid-e-Azam trophy and Pakistan Cup, pushing the case for his selection. His inclusion will strengthen our solid batting line-up," he added.

He said Pakistan has started off the ICC World Test Championship 2023-25 really well, after their success in Sri Lanka earlier this year.

"We hope that the team can carry this momentum ahead in Australia as well. We have tried to ensure that the team has all relevant resources to find success in Australia," Riaz said.

Pakistan squad for Australia Tests: Shan Masood (captain), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Noman Ali, Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Saud Shakeel and Shaheen Shah Afridi. (ANI)

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