Fast bowler Hasan Ali earned a call-up to Pakistan’s Test squad to face New Zealand in a two-match series, starting from December 26. Apart from him, uncapped middle-order batter Kamran Ghulam has been included in the squad.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said in an official statement that Kamran has replaced Azhar Ali, who announced his retirement last week, while Hasan has taken over from Mohammad Ali, who, like Faheem Ashraf, has been advised to participate in the ongoing Pakistan Cup in Karachi.
Hasan played last of his 21 Test matches for Pakistan against Sri Lanka at Galle in July this year but was dropped for the England series, which the Babar Azam-led side recently lost 3-0 at home. Ghulam, on the other hand, has played 44 first-class matches, amassing 3268 runs and averaging 47.36, including 10 centuries and 18 half-centuries.
Fast bowler Haris Rauf has not been included in the squad as he is recovering from an injury he sustained while fielding in the Rawalpindi Test. However, fast bowler Naseem Shah, who missed the Multan and Karachi Tests against England due to a shoulder niggle, has been being declared fit and as such, retained in the squad.
The first Test of the two-match series will now be played from December 26-30 at the National Bank Cricket Arena Karachi, followed by the second Test at Multan from January 3-7. The three ODIs will now be played on January 10, 12 and 14 in Karachi.
The two Tests between New Zealand and Pakistan will be a part of the World Test Championship (WTC) cycle. The three ODIs between the two teams will be a part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, determining automatic qualification for the 2023 ODI World Cup in India.
New Zealand will be returning to Pakistan for the first time in two decades after the scheduled 2021 tour was abandoned minutes before its start in Rawalpindi. After the conclusion of the tour, New Zealand will travel to India for a tour of three ODIs and as many T20Is from January 18 to February 1.
Pakistan Test squad: Babar Azam (captain), Abdullah Shafique, Abrar Ahmed, Hasan Ali, Imam-ul-Haq, Kamran Ghulam, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Noman Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Salman Ali Agha, Saud Shakeel, Shan Masood and Zahid Mehmood
PCB also announced the list of umpires and match referees for both Test and ODI series between Pakistan and New Zealand: –
1st Test, Karachi: – Alex Wharf and Aleem Dar (on-field), Ahsan Raza (third umpire), Asif Yaqoob (fourth umpire); Mohammad Javed Malik (match referee)
2nd Test, Multan: – Alex Wharf and Aleem Dar (on-field), Ahsan Raza (third umpire), Rashid Riaz (fourth umpire); David Boon (match referee)
1st ODI, Karachi: – Aleem Dar and Asif Yaqoob (on-field), Ahsan Raza (third umpire), Faisal Afridi (fourth umpire); David Boon (match referee)
2nd ODI, Karachi: – Aleem Dar and Rashid Riaz (on-field), Asif Yaqoob (third umpire), Faisal Afridi (fourth umpire); David Boon (match referee)
3rd ODI, Karachi: – Aleem Dar and Ahsan Raza (on-field), Rashid Riaz (third umpire), Faisal Afridi (fourth umpire); David Boon (match referee)