Recalled Sohail, uncapped Haider in Pakistan squad for England tour

England v Pakistan - Third Test
England v Pakistan - Third Test

LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistan recalled pacer Sohail Khan and included uncapped batsman Haider Ali in their 29-member squad for the upcoming tour of England, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Friday.

The team is scheduled to play three tests and as many Twenty20 Internationals in August-September in a bio-secure environment following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sending a combined squad was in accordance with the standard operating procedure for the series, the PCB said in a statement.

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The selectors have also put Bilal Asif, Imran Butt, Musa Khan and Mohammad Nawaz on standby to cover for any player who fails pre-tour COVID-19 testing scheduled later this month.

"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," head coach and chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq said.

Sohail, 36, has not played test cricket since the 2016 Boxing Day match in Melbourne but has been rewarded for his strong form in domestic cricket.

"Sohail Khan has been recalled to further strengthen our fast bowling department," Misbah said.

"The selectors also felt he bowled much better in the 2019-20 domestic season than his figures reflected."

Haider has also been in impressive form in domestic and under-19 cricket to claim an emerging players' contract for the 2020-21 season.

Fast bowler Mohammad Amir and batsman Haris Sohail pulled out of the tour on Thursday citing personal reasons. [nL4N2DO387]

Pakistan squad: Abid Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali (test captain), Babar Azam (T20 captain), Asad Shafiq, Fawad Alam, Haider Ali, Iftikhar Ahmad, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Faheem Ashraf, Haris Rauf, Imran Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Hasnain, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Sohail Khan, Usman Shinwari, Wahab Riaz, Imad Wasim, Kashif Bhatti, Shadab Khan and Yasir Shah.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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