By Sohail Ali
LAHORE, Jan 13 (APP): Chairman National Cricket selection committee, Mohammad Wasim said here on Wednesday that 20-member Pakistan squad for the two Tests against South Africa will be announced in Karachi on January 15.
Wasim said the 20 players will go into the bio-secure bubble on Jan 19 before the squad is reduced to 16 players ahead of the first Test, which begins at the National Stadium from Jan 26.
“The playing line-up will be picked by the captain and the head coach, with the captain leading the process,”Wasim said at the High Performance Centre.
South Africa will arrive in Karachi on Saturday and will train at the Karachi Gymkhana. The second Test will be played in Rawalpindi from Feb 4-8 with the three T20Is scheduled on Feb 11, 13 and 14 in Lahore.
This will be South Africa’s first tour to Pakistan since 2007. Also in line to tour Pakistan this year are New Zealand, England’s men’s and women’s cricket teams as well as the West Indies.
“Captain has an important role to play in the selection of the playing lineup. But, of course, Misbah-ul-Haq will also be available and in consultation with him and after accessing the pitch and conditions, the playing line-up will be finalized by the captain.
“We are following a process in picking the players. I am already in discussions with the team management as well as the six Cricket Association coaches who are my fellow selectors. I will have a final round of discussions with them ahead of Friday’s announcement before we handover the 20-player squad to the captain and the head coach.
“The trimmed 16-player squad will have inputs from the captain and head coach, while playing line-up will be up to the captain with the head coach supporting the captain,” Wasim explained.
Wasim said he met with the High Performance coaches at the National High Performance Centre, including Saqlain Mushtaq and Gran Bradburn as part of brainstorming and idea-sharing objectives.
Misbah-ul-Haq and Waqar Younis were also part of discussions.
“It was a wide-ranging, interesting and productive discussion in which we bounced off various ideas, tried to understand the team requirements with main focus on player development.
“With a strong and powerful set of a qualified coaches we have at the High Performance and in domestic cricket, we unanimously agreed that all the work on work player development will take place either in domestic cricket or at the High Performance Centre, while the finished product will only be played at the international level.
“We didn’t have a good tour to New Zealand, which will put a little pressure on the Pakistan side but its our home series and we are confident of doing well.
It’s after a long time that one of the top sides will be touring Pakistan and with the return of our key players, we are hopeful of putting a strong show.”