Pakistan squad for South Africa series announced; Mohammad Hafeez dropped

Mohammad Hafeez has scored just 102 in his last five Test matches © AFP

Lahore: Oct 6, 2013

Pakistan Saturday dropped out-of-form opener Mohammad Hafeez from the 12-man squad to play a Test series against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates this month, the South Asian country’s cricket body said.

The series starts in Abu Dhabi on October 14, with the second Test in Dubai from October 23.

The 32-year-old, Pakistan’s Twenty20 captain, has scored just 102 in his last five Tests. He managed 43 in a 3-0 Test defeat in South Africa in February and scored only 59 in the two-Test series against Zimbabwe last month.

Misbah-ul Haq was last week retained as Test and one-day captain.

Three players will be added to the squad after a three-day practice match between Pakistan ‘A’ and South Africa in Sharjah starting from October 8.

Pakistan and South Africa will also play five one-day and two Twenty20 internationals, for which squads will be named later, the Pakistan Cricket Board said in a statement.

Pakistan, who are without a chief selector, left out batsmen Asad Shafiq, Umar Akmal, Ahmed Shahzad and Shan Masood, but they still have a chance of making the larger squad, which so far only has one opener in Khurram Manzoor.

Paceman Mohammad Irfan, at 7ft 1in the tallest cricketer to play at international level, earned a Test recall despite an unimpressive two-match stint in South Africa earlier this year when he took just one wicket.

Pakistan looked set to ploy a spin-dominated attack against South Africa with the inclusion of 34-year-old left-armer Zulfiqar Babar, Saeed Ajmal and Abdul Rehman.

Umar Amin, 24, was also recalled after failing to impress in four Tests in 2010. He will lead Pakistan ‘A’ in the practice match.

Pakistan Squad:

Misbah-ul Haq (c), Khurram Manzoor, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Umar Amin, Adnan Akmal (wk), Saeed Ajmal, Zulfiqar Babar, Abdul Rehman, Junaid Khan, Mohammad Irfan, Rahat Ali.