Pakistan’s Irfan back for Sri Lankan ODIs

Fast bowler Mohammad Irfan was recalled by Pakistan on Friday for the five-match one-day international series in Sri Lanka next week after recovering from a stress fracture in his pelvis.

Irfan was injured during the Cricket World Cup and missed the quarter-final against Australia. He also missed the historic home series against Zimbabwe, and the 3-0 whitewash at the hands of Bangladesh.

Wahab Riaz was not included in the 16-man squad for the series beginning on July 11, but chief selector Haroon Rashid said if the left-arm fast bowler recovered from a hand injury, he could be flown in for the last two ODIs.

The selectors also included rookie Bilal Asif as cover for offspinner Mohammad Hafeez, whose bowling action will be retested in Chennai, India.

Hafeez was again reported for a suspect bowling action during the first Test victory over Sri Lanka last month, and faces a one-year ban if his action is not cleared in Chennai.

“Bilal Asif has also shown that he is a powerful hitter in the lower order, and a handy offspinner who could fill the gap in case Mohammad Hafeez’s action is not cleared,” Rashid said.

The series begins at Dambulla, followed by matches at Pallekele, Colombo (twice) and Hambantota.

Pakistan squad: Azhar Ali (capt), Ahmed Shezad, Mohammad Hafeez, Mukhtar Ahmed, Asad Shafiq, Shoaib Malik, Mohammad Rizwan, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Yasir Shah, Bilal Asif, Immad Wasim, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Irfan, Ehsan Adil, Rahat Ali.

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