Karachi: Veteran Pakistan batsman Mohammad Hafeez was left out of the Pakistan Test squad for the two match Test series against Sri Lanka, to be held in the UAE later this month.
Hafeez who was also earlier dropped from the Independence Cup in Pakistan, has not been called to the short training camp starting from September 19 in Lahore, as the selectors have decided to ignore him for the upcoming Test series.
Surprisingly while Hafeez was left out, the selection committee headed by Inzamam-ul- Haq instead decided to recall openers Ahmed Shehzad, Sami Aslam and Shaan Masood for the preparatory camp.
The 36-year-old Hafeez has a batting average of 39.22 in 50 Tests, which is just a little less than Ahmed Shehzad who has a average of 40.91 from 13 Tests. Masood averages 23 in 10 Tests while Aslam has a batting average of 33 in 11 Tests. Calling up these players who are nowhere close to what Hafeez has achieved with the national team only brings out the internal problems in the PCB.
The selectors and the team management are reportedly in talks about promoting and grooming up youngsters for the future, especially after the retirements of batting legends such as, Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq from international cricket.
Mohammad Hafeez last played a Test match in 2016 against England in August, before sustaining injuries and also facing fitness issues. He was also banned from bowling last year due to suspected action but was later cleared by the ICC.
Meanwhile, big names such as Wahab Riaz and Mohammad Amir (who missed the Independence Cup due to the birth of his child) has also been included. The selectors have also gone in with three spinners led by veteran Yasir Shah. Off-spinner Bilal Asif and young left-arm spinner Muhammad Asghar are the other two spinners in the 18 member squad.
The 18 players invited for the camp: Azhar Ali, Shaan Masood, Ahmed Shehzad, Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Usman Salahuddin, Sarfraz Ahmed, Muhammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Muhammad Asghar, Bilal Asif, Wahab Riaz, Muhammad Aamir, Hassan Ali, Muhammad Abbas and Mir Hamza.