The 34-year-old Asif played an important role to win Central Punjab the Quiad-e-Azam tounrament title with his 43 scalps in nine matches.
Pakistan have named a squad for first Test against Bangladesh, which will start from 7 February 2020. The selectors have recalled all-rounder Faheem Ashraf and off-spinner Bilal Asif into the team. Asif has been included to counter what is expected to be mostly a left-hander batting line-up of tourists.
The unit also saw the return of Ashraf to the squad after having been ignored for recent home Test series against Sri Lanka. The duo was not part of the Test squad that visited Australia in late 2019 and have now added in place of left-arm spinner Kashif Bhatti and fast bowler Usman Shinwari.
“We have followed the horses for courses policy for the Test against Bangladesh,” Misbah ul Haq, selector and head coach, said. “I know the two players who have been left out will be disappointed, but they remain firmly within our plans for the red-ball cricket we are scheduled to play later this year.
“Bhatti has paved the way for Bilal Asif considering there are left-handed batters in the Bangladesh top and middle-order, while Faheem Ashraf has been preferred over Usman Shinwari due to his all-round abilities. Following our convincing victory in Karachi, I don’t envisage any major changes in the playing line-up but we have tried to cover all our bases just in case the wicket has any surprises for us.”
The second Test match of the series will played after the Pakistan Super League, which takes place from 22nd February to 21st March, at National Stadium Karachi. The team will be led by Azhar Ali.
Rawalpindi Test Squad: Azhar Ali (c), Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Bilal Asif, Haris Sohail, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Yasir Shah, Imam-ul-Haq, Abid Ali, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Shaan Masood, Imran Khan