Pakistan name two uncapped players
Pakistan have included two uncapped players for their two-Test series against Sri Lanka, which starts at Faisalabad on October 20. Riaz Afridi, a 19-year-old fast bowler, has been named to further bolster a pace attack which already includes Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami, Naved-ul-Hasan and Abdul Razzaq, while Zulqarnain Haider has been named as the understudy to Moin Khan, their regular wicketkeeper.
Both Riaz and Zulqarnain have been rewarded for consistent performances with the Under-19 team. Riaz was Pakistan's leading wicket-taker in the Under-19 World Cup earlier this year, with 19 at an average of 12.73, while Zulqarnain finished with 11 scalps in the tournament and contributed handily with the bat as well.
"We have tried to strike the right balance in the Test squad and have included Riaz and Zulqarnian as a future investment," Wasim Bari, the chief selector, told Reuters. "Moin Khan is the No. 1 keeper but we feel it is now time to start grooming a new keeper and also because we have long tours ahead of us."
Apart from Riaz and Zalqarnain, Pakistan have also recalled Imran Farhat, Asim Kamal and Danish Kaneria. Farhat was dropped from the one-day squad after the Asia Cup, while Kamal, a middle-order batsman, and legspinner Kaneria have both been regarded as Test specialists by the selectors. Shahid Afridi, Iftikhar Anjum, Salman Butt, Bazid Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq, who were all in the squad for the recently concluded Paktel Cup, have been dropped for the Tests.
Yasir Hameed, Imran Farhat, Asim Kamal, Inzamam-ul-Haq (capt), Yousuf Youhana, Younis Khan, Abdul Razzaq, Shoaib Malik, Moin Khan (wk), Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Sami, Riaz Afridi, Danish Kaneria, Zulqarnain Haider (wk), Shabbir Ahmed, Naved-ul-Hasan.