Pakistan paceman Shaheen Shah Afridi will not be fit to face England in next month’s Test series, having undergone appendix surgery over the weekend.
The left-arm seamer injured his right knee during the T20 World Cup final against Jos Buttler’s England side but still looked to have a chance of playing a part in the three-Test tour in December.
But the 22-year-old’s name was absent from an 18-strong group assembled by the Pakistan Cricket Board, due an unexpected bout of appendicitis. He will now need to rest for up to a month before completing rehabilitation on his knee.
All smiles 👍👍
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) November 21, 2022
Uncapped quick Mohammad Ali has been called up in his place, with mystery spinner Abrar Ahmed, Mohammad Wasim Jnr and Zahid Mehmood completing a quartet of new faces.
Hasan Ali, who played for Lancashire earlier this year, veteran batter Fawad Alam and leg-spinner Yasir Shah have been dropped from the squad that faced Sri Lanka most recently.
Abrar comes in on the back of some stirring performances in the first-class Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, taking five five-wicket hauls in six matches with 43 scalps at 21.95. Mohammad Ali, meanwhile, has been the country’s most prolific domestic pace bowler over the past two seasons.
Chief selector Muhammad Wasim said: “I want to congratulate all the players who have been selected for the historic Test series against England. This series has provided opportunities to Abrar Ahmed, Mohammad Ali, Mohammad Wasim Jnr and Zahid Mehmood.
1st Test: Dec 1-5, Rawalpindi
2nd Test: Dec 9-13, Multan
3rd Test: Dec 17-21, Karachi
“Abrar has been on the radar since his debut first-class season in 2020-21. He is in outstanding form this season, so it makes sense to make him available to Babar Azam so he can use the confidence and talent of this youngster in the upcoming series.
“Mohammad Ali has shown great patience and control, and his numbers speak for his consistency. He has been our best fast bowler in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy with 56 wickets at an average of 24 over the last two seasons.
“I am confident that this team will ensure that the upcoming Test series against England will end in the same manner as it did when they last toured Pakistan in 2005.”
Pakistan Test squad: B Azam (c), M Rizwan (vc, wk) , A Shafique, A Ahmed, A Ali, F Ashraf, H Rauf, I Ul-Haq, M Ali, M Nawaz, M Wasim Jnr, N Shah, N Ali, S Ali Agha, S Ahmed, S Shakeel, S Masood, Z Mehmood.