SYDNEY: Josh Hazlewood returns in action and Ashton Agar wins a recall for Australia’s historic Test tour of Pakistan next month while Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), is expected to announce the Test squad for the upcoming home series against Australia this week.
Australia has named a full-strength squad for their first overseas Test tour in almost three years, with Ashton Agar the only addition from the extended group of players that won the Ashes.
Mitch Marsh, Josh Inglis, and Mitchell Swepson have all been named in an 18-man squad for the historic three-Test tour of Pakistan as Australia’s first visit to the cricket-mad nation in nearly 25 years.
However, squads for the limited-overs matches that will follow the Tests are yet to be named, the fact no Test players have pulled out is a vote of confidence for a tour that was only given the green light to proceed following a Cricket Australia Board meeting last week.
Thorough security assessments were conducted by officials for the first trip by an Australian team to Pakistan since the 2009 terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore.
“Clearly there is some anxiety about touring which I think is perfectly natural given an Australian team hasn’t toured Pakistan for almost 25 years,” Australian Cricketers’ Association chief Todd Greenberg told local media.
Australia Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser, Steve Smith (VC), Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner.
According to sources, former off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq is likely to lead the green side as head coach for the home series against Australia, despite being given his resignation as interim head coach, while the name of the team management will be announced with the test squad as well.
The training camp for the preparations of the much-awaited cricket series is expected to start from February 16 in Rawalpindi, the sources said.
On the other hand, Cricket Australia has announced an 18-member test squad for its first Pakistan tour in almost 24 years on Tuesday which will be starting on March four in Rawalpindi.