While selectors have ignored Hafeez, 36, who has a batting average of 39.22 in 50 Tests, they have called up openers Ahmed Shehzad, Sami Aslam and Shaan Masood for the training camp. Masood has a batting average of 23 in 10 Tests and Aslam has a batting average of 33 in 11 Tests. Hafeez last played a Test in England last year in August at Birmingham before sustaining fitness and injury problems. He was also banned for an illegal bowling action last year but was eventually cleared by the ICC. But despite being cleared, the selectors ignored him for T20 cricket.
The selectors and the team management are talking about grooming youngsters after the recent retirements of batting stalwarts — Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq — from Test cricket. 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.
First Published: September 16, 2017, 11:13 PM IST