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


Ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s mother to be laid to rest in Lahore today

Updated 28 November 2020

Ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s mother to be laid to rest in Lahore today

  • Begum Shamim Akhtar passed away in London last Sunday
  • Her elder son attended her funeral prayers in a mosque in Britain before her body was flown back to Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: A leading Pakistani political family has made funeral arrangements in Lahore for an elderly member who passed away in London last Sunday and whose body was brought back to Pakistan earlier today.
Begum Shamim Akhtar, whose sons Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif have spent decades in national politics, will be laid to rest after her family offers her funeral prayers on Saturday.
The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) founding leader and the country’s former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, prayed for the departed soul in a small congregation at a mosque in London where he currently resides after securing a medical bail and flying out of Pakistan in November 2019.
The Sharif family has been facing a slew of corruption allegations since the Panama Papers were leaked in April 2016.
The country’s top court disqualified Nawaz Sharif from holding public office in July 2017, and he was convicted by an accountability court the next year.
His younger brother, Shehbaz, and nephew, Hamza, have also been facing corruption references and were released from prison on a five-day parole to perform Begum Akhtar’s last rites.
The elder Sharif also missed his father’s funeral in 2004 since he was denied permission to return to his country from exile in Saudi Arabia by the administration of General (r) Pervez Musharraf.