Karachi: Convicted spot-fixer Mohammad Amir was today selected in the Pakistan cricket team that will tour England for a four-Test series for the first time since the spot-fixing scandal broke in 2010. However the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is still awaiting for Amir's visa approval from the UK High Commission.
24-year-old Amir has made an impressive comeback in shorter formats and ironically his probable return to Test cricket will happen in the same country where he was arrested for indulging in spot-fixing along with Salman Butt and Mohammad Asif. Chairman of selectors Inzamam ul Haq said that the board had given clearance to pick Aamir in the side as they had been told his visa would arrive on Monday.
"We were anxious for him as he can be a key bowler for us in England and I am sure he is strong enough to perform there despite the pressures he will feel on returning to England after the spot fixing scandal six years ago," Inzamam said.
Experienced batsman, Muhammad Hafeez was also named in Test squad despite suffering from fitness problems in the past few months.
Inzamam told the media in Lahore that the selectors had taken Hafeez's fitness test on Saturday and Sunday to see if he had made a recovery from his knee problem. "He did well over the two days and we are confident he will get better in the coming days. He has been picked because of his experience in this format," Inzamam said. Hafeez has suffered from a knee problem since the Asia Cup in March and had to miss the last two matches of the World T20 in India in April.
The former Test captain said the selected squad was a mix of experience and youth and he was confident there was enough experience in the batting line up to counter the conditions in England. Pakistan's new head coach, Mickey Arthur is due to reach Lahore on Monday or Tuesday.
Squad: Misbah-ul-Haq (Captain), Muhammad Hafeez, Sami Aslam, Shaan Masood, Younis Khan, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Ifthikar Ahmed, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Muhammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Zulfiqar Babar, Wahab Riaz, Muhammad Aamir, Rahat Ali, Imran Khan and Sohail Khan.