LAHORE: The PCB’s National Men’s selection committee has announced a 16-player squad for the first Test match against Bangladesh to be played in Rawalpindi from 7-11 February 2020.

The selectors have recalled off-spinner Bilal Asif at the back of his 43 wickets in nine Quaid-e-Azam Trophy matches, while Faheem Ashraf has been drafted in the side due to his all-round skills that were backed by his six wickets in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy final against Northern.

In the side which played against Sri Lanka, two changes have been made. Kashif Bhatti and Usman Shinwari are not included, although they have been advised to continue their training and preparation. Kashif did not play against Sri Lanka and Usman played only in the Rawalpindi Test, in which he took one for 54.

The Squad is:

  1. Azhar Ali – Captain
  2. Abid Ali
  3. Asad Shafiq
  4. Babar Azam
  5. Bilal Asif
  6. Faheem Ashraf
  7. Fawad Alam
  8. Haris Sohail
  9. Imam-ul-Haq
  10. Imran Khan Snr
  11. Mohammad Abbas
  12. Mohammad Rizwan – Wicketkeeper
  13. Naseem Shah
  14. Shaheen Shah Afridi
  15. Shan Masood
  16. Yasir Shah

During the press conference the Chief selector and Head coach Misbah-ul-Haq said: “We have followed the horses for courses policy for the Test against Bangladesh. I know the two players who have been left out will be disappointed, but they remain firmly within our plans for the red-ball cricket we are scheduled to play later this year.

He elaborated that “We are aiming to collect maximum points from the two upcoming ICC World Test Championship matches against Bangladesh so that when we take the field for the Lord’s Test against England on 30th July, we are in a strong contention for a top-two finish by the end of the 2020-21 season. This is what our aspiration is and that’s what are aiming and striving for.”