Mushtaq set to return against England

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Pakistan’s forgotten leg-spinner Mushtaq Ahmed has made it onto the list of 25 probables for next month’s series against England…

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said this week Mushtaq, who last played for Pakistan in 2003, is to be brought in as Pakistan plan to outwit England through spinners in their three-match Test series.

Secured Loans from training camp would take place in Lahore until November 2, where Mushtaq and other four probable spinners vie for their chances, the PCB said.

Pakistan’s chief selector Wasim Bari said all the available players were being tested through trial matches and his selection committee was open to all options.

"We will give everyone a chance to come into the team for a very tough series," said Pakistan’s chief selector Wasim Bari.

Pakistan will finalise its Test squad next week after the third and final trial match in which fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar and Mushtaq will also play, Bari said.

Besides the 35-year-old Mushtaq, Danish Kaneria and promising youngsters Mansoor Amjad and Imran Tahir also bowl leg-spin. Off-spinner Arshad Khan is also among the probables.

Pakistan is also considering opening the batting with all-rounders Shahid Afridi, who also bowls leg-spin, and Shoaib Malik, an off-spinner.

Mushtaq, who excelled with 80 wickets for Sussex in the English county season, last month said he was confident he could play a key role against England, if selected.

The last time the two countries played in Pakistan five years ago, Pakistan’s plans to beat England through spinners backfired when Nasser Hussain led his team to a 1-0 win with left arm spinner Ashley Giles taking 17 wickets.

England arrive in Pakistan on October 26 and play two side games before the first Test starts in Multan from November 12.

Pakistan probables are: Inzamam-ul-Haq, Salman Butt, Shoaib Malik, Younis Khan, Mohammad Yousuf, Hasan Raza, Abdul Razzaq, Kamran Akmal, Danish Kaneria, Umar Gul, Mohammad Sami, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Shabbir Ahmed, Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif, Imran Tahir, Mushtaq Ahmed, Asim Kamal, Shahid Afridi, Bazid Khan, Shahid Nazir, Faisal Iqbal, Mansoor Amjad, Imran Farhat, Arshad Khan.