KARACHI:Saud Shakeel the left-handed middle-order batsman has been named in Pakistan’s 20-member squad for the two Test-match series against South Africa starting from 26 January here at the National Stadium.
The 25-year-old Saud hails from Karachi, and started playing cricket at the age of 12. Saud has featured in most of the age-group tournaments of PCB, he started his journey by representing Karachi in PCB’s U16 tournament in 2011. He represented U19 for the first time in 2013, and later captained the Pakistan U19 team in 2014. He was picked in Pakistan A squad for the tour of England in 2016, where current Pakistan captain Babar Azam was his captain.
Saud featured in a four-day and four 50-over matches on the tour and played alongside Aamer Yamin, Fakhar Zaman, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Nawaz and Shadab Khan. He led Pakistan Emerging team to victory in ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup Tournament in 2019, the side defeated Bangladesh in the final by 77 runs.
Saud has scored 3220 runs in 46 first-class matches. He has struck 10 centuries and 17 half-centuries at an average of 48.78, with 174 as his best score. With his left-arm spin Saud has taken 23 wickets. In 67 List A matches, Saud has scored 2347 runs at an average of 46.01. He has struck four centuries and 18 half-centuries and taken 26 wickets.
Expressing his delight over his inclusion in the Test squad against South Africa, Saud Shakeel said: “I could not watch team selection’s press conference, but after the team announcement, my Sindh team mates started ringing me and came to my room and congratulated me on my selection.
“It is an honour for me to represent Pakistan national team, but my real goal is to feature for the national team in all three formats. “Throughout my cricket journey, I had learnt a lot from Asad Shafiq and Sarfaraz Ahmed, and now I look forward to learning as much as I can in the national team camp.
“I am blessed to have come through age-group cricket, through a proper pathway and if given chance I look forward to grabbing it with both hands. “Occupying the crease and rotation of strike are my strong points.”