Pakistan name 18-member squad Sri Lanka Tests, Yasir Shah returns

Pakistan name 18-member squad Sri Lanka Tests, Yasir Shah returns

Pakistan last played a Test series in Sri Lanka in 2015, when they defeated the hosts 2-1.

Shaheen Shah Afridi
Shaheen Afridi. (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)

Pakistan will be touring Sri Lanka for a two-match Test series next month. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced the squad an 18-member squad for the series, featuring some young new faces along with the return of veteran spinner Yasir Shah who last played a Test match in August 2021. 

Babar Azam will lead the team as the series will be counted towards World Test Championship. The two Tests will be played at Galle International Cricket Stadium and R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium. Pakistan will also play in a three-day warm-up match before the first Test, commencing on July 16. Pakistan last played a Test series in Sri Lanka in 2015, when they defeated the hosts 2-1. Pakistani Chief selector Muhammad Wasim will be hoping for similar efforts by his players this time around.

“We have selected this squad considering the conditions in Sri Lanka and have equipped the team with the best possible resources. “These two matches are extremely crucial for our side as we have World Test Championship points at stake. I wish our boys all the best. and I am sure they will make us proud,” Wasim  said in a PCB statement. 

“Salman Ali Agha has shown consistent performances with the bat in the past three seasons, and he is a handy off-spin option,” Wasim added.

Agha has been in brilliant form in the domestic circuit and will be looking to learn some nuances from veteran leg spinner Yasir Shah. The youngster who bats in the lower middle order is pretty handy with his off-spinners as well and can be a valuable asset for the Pakistan team.

“Our team has recently put strong performances in Bangladesh and although results against Australia were not ideal we displayed solid cricket and for that reason we have retained the core to instill consistency and continuity and have trimmed the squad size following the relaxation in Covid-19-induced travel restrictions.

“These two matches are extremely crucial for our side as we have World Test Championship points at stake. I wish our boys all the best and I am sure they will make us proud,” Wasim added.

Pakistan squad for Sri Lanka Tests: Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan (vice-captain, wicketkeeper), Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Nawaz, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wicketkeeper), Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood and Yasir Shah