On Monday, chief selector Wahab Riaz named an 18-man Pakistan Test squad for the December 14, 2023–January 7, 2024 visit to Australia. Shan Masood, who became captain after Babar Azam resigned, and Wahab, who took over the national men’s selection committee last week, will start their first assignments. Masood replaced Babar as Pakistan’s captain for the 2023-25 ICC World Test Championship after a disappointing World Cup.
Pakistan Test squad for Australia series Announced
After a good domestic season, right-arm fast bowler Khurram Shahzad received his first Test call-up. The 23-year-old took 36 wickets in eight matches at 20.31 in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2023-24 and 13 at 16.62 in the Pakistan Cup.Faheem Ashraf, a pace bowling all-rounder, returned to the squad after England’s late 2022 tour of Pakistan.
After a strong Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2023-24 run, left-handed opening hitter Saim Ayub has made his Test debut. In four matches for Karachi Whites, the 22-year-old scored 553 runs and three hundreds, including a match-winning double-century against Faisalabad in the final. Also, in the Pakistan Cup (one-day tournament), he was the tournament’s top batter and run-scorer.
Left-arm bowler Mir Hamza, who took 32 wickets at 20.88 in Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2023-24, and right-arm pacer Mohammad Wasim Jnr are also returning. Both fast bowlers were on Pakistan’s squad during New Zealand’s December 2022–January 2023 trip.
Riaz, in his maiden press conference as chief selector, said pacer Haris Rauf had assured the cricket board that he would play Test cricket for the national side. But yesterday, he informed the management that he does not want to be part of this series.
Shan Masood (captain), Aamir Jamal, Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Babar Azam, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq. Khurram Shahzad, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Noman Ali. Saim Ayub, Salman Ali Agha, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi.
Pakistan tour of Australia
- First Test: December 14-18, Perth Stadium
- Second Test: December 26-30, MCG
- Third Test: January 3-7, SCG
Wahab Riaz Statements
“It is important to inform you about this because people should have clarity about what’s goining on,” Riaz told journalists, highlighting that Rauf had concerns about whether he would have fitness issues if he partook in the tour.
“We have tried facilitating him in every way. Even if he failed in this tour, I was ready to accept it. Our fitness consultant told us that he [Rauf] would not have any issues moving forward.”
“We could have managed the issues […] but he pulled out at the last moment. I believe this will be a set back to Pakistan,” the chief selector explained.