Sunday, September 24, 2017
LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket team players reached the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, where they are to play the series against Sri Lanka.
The national team arrived in Dubai today via Emirates flight 623, and were welcomed by fans from various cricket-loving countries who took selfies with the cricketers.
The team comprises 16 players and nine officials.
The first Test starts in Abu Dhabi from Thursday (Sept 28). The second Test -- a day-night affair -- will be played in Dubai from October 6.
The two teams will also play five one-day internationals and three Twenty20s, the last of which is scheduled to be in Lahore on October 29.
The Test squad for the upcoming series against Sri Lanka was announced on Saturday, comprising five uncapped players including fast bowler Mir Hamza.
Leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who put to rest fitness concerns after he nailed the tests, was selected in the squad, along with Azhar Ali, who has been struggling with a troubled knee but was cleared to play with the help of injections.
Speaking with Geo News, Assistant Coach Pakistan Cricket team said that the team would rest today and would do the first practice session tomorrow morning at Abu Dhabi cricket stadium.
Talking to Geo News, Operations Manager Abu Dhabi Cricket Shahnawaz Hakeem said that Sheikh Zayed cricket stadium was ready to host Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Shahnawaz proudly stated that the stadium was prepared to host five out of the total 11 upcoming matches between Pakistan and Sri Lanka over the months of September and October — and tickets for the games are now on sale.
Chief selector Inzamam-ul-Haq, addressing a press conference, announced the names of the 16 players in the squad, which includes a combination of five fast bowlers and two specialist spinners.
Batsmen Haris Sohail and Usman Salahuddin have both played one-day internationals for Pakistan but are yet to make their Test debuts.
Spin-bowling all-rounder Bilal Asif and left-arm Mohammad Asghar were the other players in the squad yet to play in Tests.
Sarfraz Ahmed, already leading Pakistan in ODIs and T20 internationals, will lead the Test side for the first time.
Earlier speaking at a press conference, he said the series against Sri Lanka will be a challenge for the team as the visiting side will give Team Pakistan ‘a tough time’.
The skipper said that the retirement of senior players, Younis Khan and Misbahul Haq, has left a void and the team will miss their presence in the coming tours.
The series will be Pakistan´s first without stalwarts Younis Khan and former skipper Misbah-ul-Haq, who both retired following the team´s last series in the West Indies in May.
Squad: Azhar Ali, Shan Masood, Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain, wicketkeeper), Usman Salahuddin, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Asghar, Mohammad Abbas, Bilal Asif, Mir Hamza and Wahab Riaz.
Additional reporting by Sibte Arif.