Pakistan selectors on Wednesday recalled fit-again Yasir Shah for the two Test series against Sri Lanka next month, after the leg-spinner’s career was put on hold by nagging injuries last year.
The 36-year-old played the last of his 46 Tests 11 months ago in the West Indies but has not been selected since over lack of fitness, missing a series in Bangladesh and another at home against Australia.
Yasir started his career in 2014, becoming the quickest to 200 Test wickets after 33 matches four years later, while anchoring Pakistan’s spin attack. He now has 235 wickets in 46 Tests.
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Chief selector Mohammad Wasim said Yasir’s inclusion would improve the team’s spin attack. “Our spin department is boosted with the return of Yasir, who proved himself as a match-winner,” said Wasim.
- Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, 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, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah.
Schedule (SL v PAK)
- Warm-up match, Colombo: 11-13 July
- First Test, Galle: 16-20 July
- Second Test, Colombo: 24-28 July
Yasir took 24 wickets in Pakistan’s 2-1 win during its last Sri Lanka tour in 2015.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) on Wednesday announced the schedule of Pakistan’s tour next month. “Pakistan will play a three-day warm-up match between 11-13 July in Colombo while the first Test will be played at Galle from 16-20 July,” SLC said.
The second Test will be staged in Colombo from 24-28 July.
Left-arm slow bowler Nauman Ali is the other frontline spinner in the 18-man squad, which will be led by Babar Azam. Uncapped middle-order batsman Salman Ali Agha and former skipper Sarfaraz Ahmed are also part of the squad, but opener Abid Ali was not selected despite recovering from a heart problem.
Spinning all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz has also been recalled. He was named in the squad for Australia Tests but was withdrawn due to injury.