Pakistan names 17 year old spinner Mohammad Asghar as replacement for Yasir Shah

Pakistan names 17 year old spinner Mohammad Asghar as replacement for Yasir Shah

Yasir Shah
Yasir Shah of Pakistan celebrates taking the wicket of Marlon Samuels. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images)

Pakistan selectors have called up 17-year-old Mohammad Asghar as a backup spinner for injured Yasir Shah ahead of the three-Test match series against Australia commencing from December 15, 2016, in Brisbane. The decision was taken on the suggestion of the team management. The national selection committee has concurred with this request and Chairman PCB has approved the name of Mohammad Asghar. He will join the team as 17th member of the squad which will tour Australia later this month.

Yasir, the frontline leg spinner in the team, is currently struggling with a back injury. Shah will not be able to play the practice match against Australia ‘A’ that starts from tomorrow as doctors have advised him two days’ rest. The injury also saw him miss the boot camp held in Kakul earlier this year owing to a leg injury.

According to Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) Officials, his injury is not severe, and he will be fit to play the first Test match against Australia starting from 15 December. Yasir Shah suffered a similar issue in the series against England in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last year and had to miss the opening Test of the series. Apart from Asghar, Pakistan only has left-arm spinning all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz in the squad Test squad.

“Yasir is visibly improving but it’s an important Test and we don’t want to take a risk,” Amjad Hussain, Pakistan media manager, told ESPNcricinfo. “He basically suffered back spasms and is being taken care of with therapy. We are hoping to have him back. But it’s always good to have back-up to counter the worst case.”

Left-arm spinner Asghar grabbed attention in the inaugural Pakistan Super League 2016 where he finished as the Peshawar Zalmi’s second-highest wicket-taker (11), behind Wahab Riaz (15) and was also the team’s most economical bowler in the tournament. Asghar also returned 13 wickets across two first class games for Pakistan A against Zimbabwe A in October.

Pakistan Test squad:

Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Sharjeel Khan, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, Rahat Ali, Sohail Khan, Imran Khan, Mohammad Asghar