Lahore - Pakistan's selectors on Saturday included teenage pace
sensation Shaheen Shah Afridi in a 15-man squad for the first two of the three
Tests against New Zealand starting in Abu Dhabi next week.
The 18-year-old has been in a devastating form in the
ongoing one-day series in United Arab Emirates, taking 4-46 and 4-38 in the two
matches so far. The third and final one-day international is in Dubai on
He also took 3-20 in a Twenty20 match against New Zealand
and four wickets in two Twenty20 internationals against Australia last month,
also in UAE.
The sensational pace bowler emerged on the scene last year,
taking 8-39 in an innings in his first class debut, the best-ever figures by a
Pakistani bowler in his first match.
Pakistan and New Zealand play the first Test in Abu Dhabi
November 16-20. The second match will be in Dubai November 24-28 while the
final Test is also in Abu Dhabi December 3-7. A squad for the final Test will
be announced later.
"Shaheen has been included in the squad keeping into
account his current form," said chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq Inzamam.
"He has impressed with his bowling."
Fast bowler Mohammad Amir is still sidelined after his
recent poor form while another paceman Wahab Riaz was dropped after being
wicket-less in the first Test against Australia last month.
Also left out of the squad is opener Fakhar Zaman who made
his debut in the second Test against Australia in Abu Dhabi last month, scoring
94 and 66 - apparently to rest his knee injury.
Left-hander Saad Ali was selected again after his fighting
hundred for Pakistan 'A' against New Zealand 'A" in Abu Dhabi this week
but there was no place for Shan Masood who hit centuries in each innings of the
first side game between the "A" teams in Dubai last month.
Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (captain), Mohammad Hafeez, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Saad Ali, Yasir Shah, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Abbas, Hassan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Faheem Ashraf, Mir Hamza.