Pakistan recalls forgotten Fawad Alam for Sri Lanka Test

In this file photo, Pakistan cricketer Fawad Alam raises his bat after he scored a century during the second day of the second Test match between Pakistan and Sri Lanka in Colombo on July 13, 2009. (AFP)
Updated 07 December 2019

Pakistan recalls forgotten Fawad Alam for Sri Lanka Test

  • Alam, after hitting a debut century in 2009, was discarded after playing just three Tests
  • The first Test starts on Wednesday, a match that marks the return of Test cricket to Pakistan after 10 years

KARACHI: Pakistan recalled forgotten batsman Fawad Alam on Saturday for the upcoming two-match Test series against Sri Lanka, after a gap of ten years following the left-hander’s prolific form in domestic matches.
The 34-year-old hit a debut century against Sri Lanka but was discarded after playing just three Tests in 2009.
But Alam hit four hundreds in the current Quaid-e-Azam trophy — piling up 781 runs — and boasts a first class average of 56.84, 22nd highest in the world.
And chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq said Alam’s form is not spread over one year.
“Alam has been performing so well at the domestic level so we have recalled him for a chance and we hope he delivers,” said Misbah, also the team’s head coach.
Pakistan is smarting from last week’s 2-0 defeat — both by an innings — in Australia that left not only Misbah but new captain Azhar Ali under tremendous pressure.
Middle-order batsman Iftikhar Ahmed, who managed just 44 runs in four innings in Australia, and the teenage pacer Mohammad Musa Khan were left off the newly announced squad list.
The first Test starts in Rawalpindi from Wednesday, a match that marks the return of Test cricket to Pakistan after ten years.
They were forced to play home matches in the United Arab Emirates after the 2009 terror attacks. The country hosted international limited over matches between 2015-2019 although no team has yet agreed to play five-day matches.
Sri Lanka, who also played three one-day internationals and as many Twenty20s in Pakistan in September-October, arrive on Sunday.
Left-arm pacer Usman Shinwari, 25, is also drafted in the squad and may play a Test for the first time.
Meanwhile, 16-year-old pacer Naseem Shah is also retained despite being selected in Pakistan’s Under-19 squad for next month’s Junior World Cup in South Africa.
Yasir Shah and uncapped left-armer Kashif Bhatti will be the two spinners in the 16-man squad.
The second Test will be played in Karachi from December 19.

Squad: Azhar Ali (captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan (wicketkeeper), Naseem Shah, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah, Usman Shinwari


Women hopeful as Pakistan parliamentary committee approves bill granting fathers paternal leave

Updated 30 October 2020

Women hopeful as Pakistan parliamentary committee approves bill granting fathers paternal leave

  • Parental leave bill was passed by Senate in January and will be voted by lawmakers in the coming weeks
  • The regulation will apply to all institutions in Islamabad if passed and pave the way for its nationwide implementation 

ISLAMABAD: Women lawmakers and activists said this week they welcomed approval by a National Assembly committee of a bill which would allow fathers to take one month of paid time off on the birth of a child.
The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Law and Justice this week approved the parental leave bill which was passed by the upper house of parliament in January. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the law in the coming weeks.
About 90 out of 187 countries around the world now offer statutory paid paternity leave, usually for a few days or weeks.
“Extremely happy and immensely proud that this important bill moved by me in 2018 has finally been passed by the NA standing committee on Law and Justice after their passage from the Senate,” Senator Quratulain Marri from the opposition Pakistan People’s Party, who initiated the motion in the upper house, told Arab News on Thursday.
In accordance with the bill, she said, at the time of the birth of the first three children, “the mother will get six months, four months and three months leave respectively and the father will get 30 days each time.”
If passed, she said, the regulation would apply to all government and non-government institutions in Islamabad, and pave the way for it to be implemented nationwide.
“I am hoping that the provinces will replicate the same once it is passed from the National Assembly in the coming weeks,” Marri said. “This might not seem like a very big step at this point of time but I think it’s important to change the mindset and introduce the concept of paternity leave and father’s bonding with the child and will prove to be a very important step.”
The NA committee’s chairman, Riaz Fatyana, said the bill would allow fathers to look after their wives after childbirth.
“This will be a good opportunity for male parent, father, who can look after his newborn child and wife,” he told Arab News.
A parliamentarian from the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) party, Naureen Ibrahim, said if the regulation were passed, it would help men learn to share childcaring responsibilities with women.
“It will be beneficial especially for working women,” she said. “They will get longer leave and also the father will learn about sharing the responsibility of parenting. Fathers will also take care of the child and will realize the difficulties which are faced by wives.”
Women’s rights activist Farzana Bari said the new law would help change the mindset of childcare being an exclusively female responsibility.
“There has been a changing concept of masculinity in Pakistan in recent time,” she said. “Many young educated males have started sharing the responsibility of childcare and domestic work. It [new bill] will be very helpful for them.”