Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) selectors announced a 17-man Test squad for the tour of England. The team is supposed to leave for England on June 18, where Pakistan will be playing a couple of practice matches against Somerset and Sussex ahead of their four-match Test series.
Mohammad Amir has been named in the Test squad for the England tour. This is the first time that Amir is going to don the white shirt for Pakistan and play international cricket in the UK following a five-year ban for spot-fixing, while on an England tour in 2010.
However, Amir may not get to board the flight along with his other teammates as he is yet to get a UK visa. But PCB is hopeful that Amir will be granted a visa as the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has also supported his application.
Legspinner Yasir Shah was also picked for the tour as he is done serving his three-month suspension, which was handed to him by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for testing positive for a banned substance.
Mohammad Hafeez has also been picked for this tour of England, despite injury concerns. He has been nursing a knee injury since the ICC World T20 2016, which was held in India. The first match of the series is still a month away and the selectors are hopeful that Hafeez will recover ahead of the Lord's Test.
Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq named a back-up wicket-keeper in the form of Mohammad Rizwan, to ease some pressure off Safraz Ahmed.
"Rizwan has been playing in T20s and he has been doing well in ODIs. We are sending two keepers because there are four Tests and it will be a good opportunity for Rizwan too," Inzamam was quoted as saying by Cricinfo.
Pakistan will have four fast bowling options other than Amir in Wahab Riaz, Sohail Khan, Rahat Ali and Imran Khan.
This is going to be a really tough tour for Pakistan as they have played very little Test match cricket outside the sub-continent in the last few years. The last time Pakistan had toured England was back in 2010.
"My only concern is that we have hardly played outside [the subcontinent] in the last six-seven years. Otherwise the Pakistani team is known to play aggressive cricket across the world. I think that is the strength of this team - aggression," Inzamam added.
Pakistan Test Squad for England Tour: Mohammad Hafeez, Shan Masood, Sami Aslam, Misbah-ul-Haq (C), Younis Khan, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Iftikhar Ahmed, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Zulfiqar Babar, Yasir Shah, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Rahat Ali, Imran Khan, Sohail Khan.