Hafeez ignored for two-Test series against Sri Lanka

Hafeez, who was also dropped for the Independence Cup Twenty20 series against the World XI, has not been called for a short conditioning camp ahead of the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka.

Hafeez played his last Test in August 2016 at Birmingham before injury woes sidelined him from action.   -  Getty Images

The national selectors have once again ignored senior batsman Muhammad Hafeez for the two-match Test series against Sri Lanka in the UAE later this month.

Hafeez, who was also dropped for the Independence Cup Twenty20 series against the World XI, has not been called for a short conditioning camp, starting from September 19 in Lahore, for the upcoming Test series.

Hafeez played his last Test in August 2016 at Birmingham before injury woes sidelined him from action. He was also banned for an illegal bowling action last year but was eventually cleared by the ICC. However, that doesn’t seem to have done any favours to the right-hander’s fortunes.

Meawhile, openers Ahmed Shehzad, Sami Aslam and Shaan Masood have received a call-up for the training camp. Masood has a batting average of 23 in 10 Tests and Aslam; 33 in 11 Tests.

Catching ‘em young

The selectors and the team management are talking about grooming youngsters after the recent retirements of batting stalwarts - Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq - from Test cricket.

However, they recalled left arm-fast bowler Wahab Riaz, while Muhammad Aamir, who missed the Independence Cup matches due to the birth of his child, is also available.

Three spinners - leg-spinner Yasir Shah, who was awarded the best Test player of the year by the PCB this week, off-spinner Bilal Asif and rookie left-arm spinner Muhammad Asghar - will also be joining the training camp.

The 18 players invited for the camp: Azhar Ali, Shaan Masood, Ahmed Shehzad, Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Usman Salahuddin, Sarfraz Ahmed, Muhammad Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Muhammad Asghar, Bilal Asif, Wahab Riaz, Muhammad Aamir, Hassan Ali, Muhammad Abbas and Mir Hamza.