LAHORE: Pakistan rested Azhar Ali for the five-match one-day series against Sri Lanka starting in Dubai next week to give the opener time to recover from a knee problem, selectors said Friday.
The 32-year-old is featuring in the second and final Test in Dubai on Friday only after having injections to relieve the pain.
Pakistan have made only one change from the side which won the Champions Trophy in England in June this year, bringing in uncapped 21-year-old opener Imam-ul-Haq in Ali’s place.
Imam is the nephew of former Pakistan captain Inzamam, who now heads the selection committee.
“Imam has been selected in the squad keeping his performance in the domestic circuit in view and to give a chance to a youngster in the home conditions,” said a Pakistan Cricket Board release.
Imam had featured in the 2014 Junior World Cup held in United Arab Emirates.
Sarfraz Ahmed will lead the side.
The first of five one-day internationals starts in Dubai on October 13, followed by matches in Abu Dhabi (October 16 and 18) and Sharjah (October 20 and 23).
Pakistan and Sri Lanka will also play three Twenty20 internationals, two in Abu Dhabi (October 26 and 27) while the last one is set to be held in Lahore on October 29, subject to security clearance.
The return of Sri Lanka is of huge importance to cricket-mad Pakistan. A deadly militant attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009 was responsible for finally driving out cricket and other international sports from the country after years of security fears.
Squad: Sarfraz Ahmed, Ahmed Shehzad, Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Shadab Khan, Faheem Ashraf, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Rumman Raees, Junaid Khan, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq