Lanky pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi was named Saturday in Pakistan’s 16-man squad to play two Tests in Sri Lanka next month — his first outing in the long form of the game in a year.
The 23-year-old injured a knee in Sri Lanka last July and missed Pakistan’s home Test series against Australia, England and New Zealand.
Shaheen, who has 99 wickets in 25 Tests, featured in the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia last year, but injured the same knee in the final.
He is back to full fitness, however, and played in the Pakistan Super League (PSL) as well as featuring in the T20I and ODI series against New Zealand earlier this year.
“I am very excited to be returning to the Pakistan Test side after a year,” Shaheen said, according to a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) statement.
“I dearly missed Test cricket and it was tough for me to be away from this format. I am eager to make an impactful comeback.”
Prolific young batter Mohammad Huraira and allrounder Aamer Jamal have been picked for the first time.
Huraira, 21, scored 986 runs in his first domestic season in 2021 and during the course became the second youngest Pakistani behind Javed Miandad to hit a triple hundred.
He again topped the chart last year with a tally of 1,024.
The two-match Sri Lanka series will be Pakistan’s first assignment in the new World Test Championship cycle, which runs from 2023-2025.
The squad will assemble in Karachi on July 3 for a camp before departing for Sri Lanka on July 9.
The itinerary of the tour has not been announced yet.
Pakistan’s squad for Sri Lanka Tests 2023
Squad: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Aamer Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Huraira, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Noman Ali, Agha Salman, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood.
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