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February 29, 2020

Sri Lanka tour: Saqib Mahmood included in UK Test squad

National

February 29, 2020

BIRMINGHAM: Fast bowler Saqib Mahmood has been included in England’s test squad for the upcoming Sri Lanka tour. The Lancashire pacer came as a replacement for fellow seamer Mark Wood.

Mark wood who’s part of the England’s World Cup winning squad suffered a side strain which he sustained during the recently concluded series against South Africa. Birmingham-born Saqib, whose parents are of Pakistan origin, grew up in Rochdale a town near Manchester and plays for Lancashire County.

Earlier, he was also named in England’s test and T20I squad last year for the News Zealand tour. Saqib made his international debut in the T20I series, playing all three matches of the series against the Kiwis in November but missed out the test matches.

Subsequently he was included in England’s ODI and T20I squad for the South Africa tour. Saqib made his ODI debut against South Africa in the last match of ODI series and ended up with impressive figures of 1/17 in 5 overs.

Recently, he received England’s pace bowling development contract, which was awarded by ECB for the first time. With England’s ace seamers Jimmy Anderson recovering from a rib injury he sustained during the second test against South Africa and Jofra Archer already out of action due to injury and now Mark Wood out with a side strain it is very likely that Saqib can make his test debut for England in the two match series against Sri Lanka.

The England test squad will leave for South Africa in Monday. England will kick start the tour with a side match on 7th March. First test between Sri Lanka and England will be played in Galle from 19-23 March while the 2nd test will take place from 27-31 March in Colombo.

The England Test squad comprises Joe Root (captain), Jo’s Butler (wk), Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Ben Foakes, Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Matt Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Saqib Mahmood.