LAHORE            -         Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Friday recalled pacer Sohail Khan and included uncapped batsman Haider Ali in the 29-member national squad for the upcoming England tour.

Haider had an outstanding 2019-20 season, following which he earned an emerging contract for the 2020-21 season. He was Pakistan U19’s second most successful batsman with 317 runs against South Africa U19 in June, fifth leading run-getter with 218 runs in the ACC Emerging Teams Cup in Bangladesh, aggregated 645 runs – including a century in the final – at just under 50 in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy.

Haider also finished as Pakistan’s third-best batsman with 107 runs in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 before contributing 239 runs in nine matches at a strike-rate of over 158 for Peshawar Zalmi in the unfinished HBL Pakistan Super League 2020.

Besides Haider, Sindh’s Kashif Bhatti is the other uncapped player in the side. Kashif was in the Test squad against Australia and Sri Lanka but did not play and was also named in the probables for the Rawalpindi Test against Bangladesh.

Returning to the national colours is fast bowler Sohail Khan, whose ninth and last Test for Pakistan was the 2016 Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. In the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy 2019-20, he took 22 wickets in nine matches, while he grabbed seven wickets in eight HBL PSL 2020 matches for Quetta Gladiators.

Apart from Haider, Kashif, Sohail and the other centrally-contracted players, excluding Haris Sohail, the selectors have named Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Imran Khan, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Hafeez and Wahab Riaz. The selectors have also named four reserves in Bilal Asif, Imran Butt, Musa Khan and Mohammad Nawaz as a cover in case any of the players fail pre-tour Covid-19 testing, which will be carried out on June 20 and 25.

Fast bowlers Hasan Ali and Mohammad Amir, and middle-order batsman Haris were not available for selection. Hasan is suffering from a back injury, Amir withdrew so that he can be at the birth of his second child in August while Haris took the option of pulling out of the tour due to the Covid-19 pandemic.