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AFP
December 8, 2019

Pakistan recalls forgotten Fawad Alam for Sri Lanka Test

Sports

AFP
December 8, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan recalled forgotten batsman Fawad Alam on Saturday for the upcoming two-match Test series against Sri Lanka, after a gap of ten years following the left-hander’s prolific form in domestic matches.

The 34-year-old hit a debut century against Sri Lanka but was discarded after playing just three Tests in 2009. But Alam hit four hundreds in the current Quaid-e-Azam trophy—piling up 781 runs—and boasts a first class average of 56.84, 22nd highest in the world.

And chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq said Alam’s form is not spread over one year.

“Alam has been performing so well at the domestic level so we have recalled him for a chance and we hope he delivers,” said Misbah, also the team’s head coach.

Pakistan is smarting from last week’s 2-0 defeat—both by an innings—in Australia that left not only Misbah but new captain Azhar Ali under tremendous pressure.

Middle-order batsman Iftikhar Ahmed, who managed just 44 runs in four innings in Australia, and the teenage pacer Mohammad Musa Khan were left off the newly announced squad list. The first Test starts in Rawalpindi from Wednesday, a match that marks the return of Test cricket to Pakistan after ten years.

They were forced to play home matches in the United Arab Emirates after the 2009 terror attacks. The country hosted international limited over matches between 2015-2019 although no team has yet agreed to play five-day matches.

Sri Lanka, who also played three one-day internationals and as many Twenty20s in Pakistan in September-October, arrive on Sunday. Left-arm pacer Usman Shinwari, 25, is also drafted in the squad and may play a Test for the first time.

Meanwhile, 16-year-old pacer Naseem Shah is also retained despite being selected in Pakistan’s Under-19 squad for next month’s Junior World Cup in South Africa. Yasir Shah and uncapped left-armer Kashif Bhatti will be the two spinners in the 16-man squad. The second Test will be played in Karachi from December 19.

Squad: Azhar Ali (captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Naseem Shah, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah, Usman Shinwari.

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