Cricket Australia has announced an 18-member test squad for the much-awaited Pakistan tour in almost 24 years on Tuesday, starting on March 4 in Rawalpindi.
The tour, which will be Australia’s first in 24 years, is set to start and end in Rawalpindi, with the opening Test to be played from March 4–8 and the four white-ball matches to be played from March 29–April 5, a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) statement said.
According to the statement issued by Cricket Australia, Mitch Marsh, Josh Inglis, and Mitchell Swepson are part of an 18-member squad, adding that spinner Ashton Agar’s name is the only addition from the extended group of players that won the Ashes series against England.
The Australia Test squad included: Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, and David Warner.
According to the statement, none of the players from the Australian side have voted to withdraw from Pakistan’s tour while the limited-overs match squads will be announced later.
On the other hand, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has yet to announce the Test squad for the upcoming home series against Australia.
The PCB had earlier announced the details of Australia’s first tour of Pakistan since November, 1998. The tour will take place in March and April 2022 and will include three Tests, three One-day internationals, and one Twenty20 international.
Karachi (3-7 March), Rawalpindi (12-16 March), and Lahore (21-25 March) will host the Tests, while Lahore will host the four white-ball matches from 29 March to 5 April.
The Tests will be part of the ICC World Test Championship, while the ODIs will be part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, a 13-team competition from which the top seven teams and hosts India will qualify directly for the 2023 event.
PAK TEAM: Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is expected to announce the Test squad for the upcoming three-match Test series against Australia in a couple of days.
Chief selector Mohammad Wasim will announce the 15-member squad and five reserves for the series.
Moreover, the management has decided to hold the training camp in Rawalpindi from February 16 or 17 instead of Karachi because of the revised schedule for the tour.
The management is also considering replacing Abid Ali with Shan Masood, Sahibzada Ferhan or Kamran Ghulam.
Abid Ali is currently undergoing rehab after he was diagnosed as a case of Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS).
Pakistan’s likely squad:
Babar Azam (captain), Mohammad Rizwan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Hasan Ali, Fawad Alam, Azhar Ali, Imam ul Haq, Zahid Mahmood, Sajid Khan, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Nauman Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Saud Shakeel and Faheem Ashraf.
Reserves: Shahnawaz Dahani, Haris Rauf, Kamran Ghulam and Yasir Shah.