Pakistan pick 11 players, seven benchwarmers for Australia Tests


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LAHORE – The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has generously selected an 18-man squad for the Test series against Australia which includes 11 players and seven benchwarmers.

Instead of selecting 15 cricketers for two matches like Australia, the Inzamamul Haq-led committee decided to let a few young players wander through the Arabian Desert, The Dependent sources informed.

They said that “the seven extra players, who will not be playing any match and spend most of the time sitting on the benches, will be helped to feel at home in the UAE.”

It was pointed out that the emerging talent deserves an opportunity to develop an off-field taste for the home venue.

Under the new chairman, the board seemed cautious as it included two wicketkeepers, two legspinners and at least four openers.

The PCB was eager to pick Wahab Riaz and would take another year or two to forget his ‘lethal spell’ to Australia’s Shane Watson during the 2015 World Cup, sources added.

Veteran cricketer Mohammad Hafeez, who failed to secure a place in the Asia Cup squad, was compensated with a two-year gap Test squad comeback.

While commenting on his return in the Test squad, Hafeez was happy that the board has finally realised his worth for the longer format, adding that he was still doubtful for his inclusion in the last 11.

“I don’t have a problem with being the 18th player in the squad. A player of my calibre should at least be the 12th man,” he suggested.