England recalled spinner Monty Panesar when they named a 16-man squad today for their upcoming Test series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
The series, being played in the UAE because of ongoing security concerns in Pakistan, will be England's first since they went to number one in the world Test rankings during a 4-0 home thrashing of India earlier this year.
Left-arm spinner Panesar has been in the international wilderness since playing the last of his 39 Tests two years ago, when his tailend resistance with the bat helped England cling on for a draw in the 2009 Ashes opener against Australia in Cardiff.
But with pitches in the UAE expected to take turn, Panesar -- whose 126 Test wickets have come at an average of just under 35 apiece -- has been selected as the second spinner behind off-break bowler Graeme Swann in a 16-man squad.
Panesar has been playing club cricket in Australia and
England national selector Geoff Miller, announcing the squad, said: "Monty Panesar, who has been playing cricket in Sydney recently, has been selected as the second spin option along with Graeme Swann.
"Monty's selection comes off the back of a strong domestic season with Sussex and with the potentially spin-friendly conditions of Dubai and Abu Dhabi in mind," former England off-spinner Miller added.
England captain Andrew Strauss will lead a tour party featuring several players returning from injury in batsman Eoin Morgan (shoulder) and fast bowlers Chris Tremlett (back)and Stuart Broad (shoulder).
Morgan has been unavailable since the first match of England's one-day international series at home to India in September and had to undergo shoulder surgery while Broad also injured his shoulder in the same series and missed the return -- a 5-0 thrashing in India.