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Pakistan recall opener Ahmed Shehzad for Sri Lanka Tests

June 03, 2015 15:06 IST

Ahmed Shehzad

Pakistan’s Ahmed Shehzad in action during the first Test against Australia at the Dubai International Stadium on October 25, 2014. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty Images

Opener Ahmed Shehzad has been recalled to Pakistan’s Test squad for the tour of Sri Lanka after being dropped for the April-May series against Bangladesh on disciplinary grounds.

Besides Shehzad, the selectors also recalled southpaw Shan Masood, another out-of-favour opener, who was ignored for the last few series and tournaments.

Chief selector Haroon Rasheed said Shehzad was given a chance since he is improving and remains a strong player for Pakistan.

"Shehzad, like others, was clear for selection and so we had no issues picking him," he added.

After the World Cup, head coach Waqar Younis and captain Misbah-ul-Haq had suggested to the PCB that Shehzad and Umar Akmal be dropped and made to play domestic cricket for a year as they needed to improve their attitude.

Rasheed said the selectors delayed announcing the squad because of fitness-related matters with fast bowlers like Rahat Ali, Sohail Khan and Ehsan Adil.

"Adil was cleared and has been picked but the other two still require more time," the chief selector said.

Off-spinner Saeed Ajmal was, as expected, ignored after failing to impress on his comeback in Bangladesh with a changed bowling action.

The experienced bowler, down on his luck since being suspended for an illegal bowling action last September, was also ignored for the limited-overs’ series against Zimbabwe that ended on Sunday.

Rasheed also made it clear that young promising players like left-arm spinner Muhammad Asghar, leg-spinner Osama Mir and all-rounder Bilal Asif would be considered later on for either the one-day or T20 matches in Sri Lanka.

The first Test against Sri Lanka is scheduled from June 17, at Galle.

He said, if need arises, a 16th player could be sent for the three Tests because of the weather conditions in Sri Lanka.

Pakistan Test squad: Muhammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, Shan Masood, Misbah-ul-Haq (Capt), Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Azhar Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz, Ehsan Adil, Imran Khan, Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir Shah.

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