Pakistan cricket selectors on Monday recalled Left-arm seamers Wahab Riaz and middle-order batsman Umar Akmal for next month’s three-Test series against England in the UAE.
Wahab, whose name was mentioned in court during the spot-fixing trial in London, was considered for the test series after the Pakistan board gave clearance.
Fast bowler Junaid Khan, who was declared fit by the board’s medical panel, is also back in the squad but former captain Shoaib Malik and seamer Mohammad Khalil, who toured Bangladesh, have been left out.
Mohammad Talha, who has played just one test in 2009 against Sri Lanka at Lahore, has also been included.
“We have tried to pick the best balanced side possible for a series that is going to be very tough and challenging for us,” Illyas said.
“We had to keep in mind the conditions that prevail in the UAE and have picked a balanced bowling attack including pacers and spinners.”
“There are some players who are dropped and some are recalled but nobody is out of the picture and can be selected only if they perform. Malik may be dropped but he isn’t out of the picture.”
Dubai will host the first and third Tests starting on January 17 and February 3, respectively, while Abu Dhabi will host the second starting on January 25.
Pakistan team for the five-match one-day series and three Twenty20 matches against England will be named after the second Test.
Pakistan Test squad: Mohammad Hafeez, Taufeeq Umar, Imran Farhat, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (capt), Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Adnan Akmal (wk), Umar Gul, Aizaz Cheema, Junaid Khan, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Talha, Saeed Ajmal, Abdur Rehman.
PCB XI: Nasir Jamshed, Afaq Rahim, Harris Sohail, Mohammad Ayub Dogar, Fawad Alam, Usman Salahuddin, Sarfraz Ahmed (capt and wk), Raza Hassan, Mohammad Khalil, Mohammad Talha, Ali Imran Pasha, Yasir Shah.