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Buzz: Fawad back in Pakistan Test squad after decade

Last updated on: December 07, 2019 20:35 IST

Fawad Alam played the last of his three Test matches in New Zealand in 2009 and was last seen in Pakistan colours in a 2015 one-day international in Bangladesh

IMAGE: Fawad Alam played the last of his three Test matches in New Zealand in 2009 and was last seen in Pakistan colours in a 2015 one-day international in Bangladesh. Photograph: Dinuka Liyanawatte/Reuters

Fawad Alam returned from a decade in the Test wilderness on Saturday after Pakistan recalled the middle-order batsman for the two-match home series against Sri Lanka later this month.

The 34-year-old replaced Iftikhar Ahmed, who managed only 44 runs in four innings in the recent tour of Australia where Pakistan lost both Tests.

Left-arm quick Usman Shinwari replaced Muhammad Musa, who was wicketless on his Test debut in Adelaide, in the only other change to the Test squad.


Fawad played the last of his three Test matches in New Zealand in 2009 and was last seen in Pakistan colours in a 2015 one-day international in Bangladesh.

"It is a reward for his continued hard work, perseverance and dedication to the game," chief selector and head coach Misbah-ul-Haq said in a statement.

"His selection is not only a lesson to the emerging cricketers but also a Testament of the selectors’ policy of valuing domestic cricket and rewarding consistent performers."

Pakistan will play a Test on home soil for the first time in more than 10 years with Rawalpindi hosting the first match from December 11, while the second is scheduled in Karachi from Dec. 19.

Misbah believes the team have learnt their lessons from their 2-0 thumping in Australia.

"The Australia tour was well below our expectations and has affected our pride," he said.

"We are now seeing Australia as a huge learning experience and will make all out efforts to overcome the weaknesses that have been identified."

Sixteen-year-old Naseem Shah, who made his Test debut in Brisbane, was among 14 of the 16 players retained from the Australia tour.

"This indicates our consistency and continuity as we believe in first picking the best available players and then providing them (with) sufficient opportunities to justify their talent," Misbah added.

"The retention of the 14 players also reflects the trust and faith we have in these players, who have the ability and talent to turn things around."

Squad: Azhar Ali (captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah, Usman Shinwari

Graeme Smith named CSA director; Faul is acting chief executive

Cricket South Africa (CSA) have appointed administrator Jacques Faul as acting chief executive and hope to conclude negotiations with former Test captain Graeme Smith to take over as director of cricket next week, the governing body said on Saturday.

The CSA decided to appoint Faul at a special board meeting on Saturday after a chaotic week in which they suspended CEO Thabang Moroe over governance concerns, had three board members resign and lost key sponsor Standard Bank, who will not renew their contract when it ends in April 2020.

"Jacques Faul did not hesitate for a moment when I asked him to be acting CEO," CSA president Chris Nenzani told a news conference.

"He has been acting CEO in the past and said he would come in to lend his support and put his shoulder to the wheel for (the) country."

Nenzani confirmed that former International Cricket Council CEO Dave Richardson had been first choice for the position, but the latter said he would rather play a supporting role given other commitments.

"Richardson’s role will be to offer support and be available when required to put his services at the disposal of CSA. That ticks the box in terms of having stability at management level," Nenzani added.

Nenzani said Moroe’s disciplinary hearing will be handled by an independent body from outside of CSA and that the process should not exceed six months.

Nenzani added that discussions were continuing with Smith, the most successful Test captain in cricket history with 53 wins, over the key role of director of cricket, with a four-Test series against England due to start on December 26.

He said both parties had committed to a deadline of Wednesday to come to an agreement.

CSA needs a long-term replacement for Ottis Gibson, whose deal was not renewed after a dismal World Cup in England.

"We have not yet agreed a contract, but with time of the essence, we need things to move as fast as we can. We have engaged with Graeme and he has agreed that by next week Wednesday, all the negotiations around the contract will be concluded so that we can enter into an agreement.

"Once you put your director of cricket in place, then processes around coaching and selections kick in."

Nenzani added CSA would also engage with the South African Cricketers Association over various grievances from the players’ union, including a proposed restructuring of domestic cricket.

Team's win is all that matters: Sophie Devine

Adelaide Strikers' Sophie Devine said her team's win is all that matters to her after reaching in the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) final on Saturday.

"I got dropped a couple of times there but at the moment, luck seems to be going my way. Tomorrow I could get a duck and someone else could be standing up and getting runs, but at the end of the day as long as the Strikers are winning, then that's all that matters," quoted Devine as saying.

The New Zealand player played an unbeaten knock of 65 runs against Perth Scorchers in the semi-final to help her team secure an eight-wicket win.

Devine, who has 764 runs from 15 innings, is just 14 runs behind Ellyse Perry's record of 777 for most runs in a single season.

The WBBL final between Adelaide Strikers and Brisbane Heat will be played on Sunday.