Karachi - England will not have to
face their 2012 tormentor Saeed Ajmal in next month's three-Test series against
Pakistan after the off-spinner failed to regain his place in the 15-man squad
announced on Wednesday.
Ajmal, who turns 38 next month, has faced a tough time since returning to
cricket from a five-month suspension after his bowling action was found to be
illegal by the International Cricket Council last year.
Since making his comeback with a remodelled action against Bangladesh in
April, he has shown little of the form that brought him 24 wickets during
Pakistan's 3-0 whitewash over then world number one Test team England in the
United Arab Emirates three years ago.
He has also performed poorly for English county-side Worcestershire, his 16
wickets this season coming at almost 56 apiece, as fast-rising leg-spinner
Yasir Shah and left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar have filled the void for Pakistan.
The duo were instrumental in Pakistan's 2-0 win over Australia last year and
2-1 triumph in Sri Lanka this year.
All-rounder Fawad Alam meanwhile could end his five-year absence from Test
cricket after being named in the squad.
The 29-year-old hit 168 on his debut in 2009 but only played two more
matches before being dropped.
Alam maintained a strong domestic record as supporters from his home city of
Karachi consistently demanded he be recalled.
The first of the three Tests starts in Abu Dhabi from October 13.
Chief selector Haroon Rasheed said a 16th member will be added to the squad
"In the light of captain Misbah-ul-Haq's recommendations, we have kept
the options open for the 16th player in the Test squad against England, picking
up two left-arm spin bowlers namely Zafar Gohar and Mohammad Asghar for the
brace of practice games and whoever amongst the two performs well would be
added to the Test squad," he said.
Squad: Misbah-ul-Haq, Ahmed Shehzad, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Mohammad Hafeez, Fawad Alam, Asad Shafiq, Younis Khan, Sarfraz Ahmed, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Wahab Riaz, Imran Khan, Rahat Ali, Junaid Khan