Pakistan announced their squad for the upcoming Test series against Sri Lanka and made a surprise pick by picking middle-order batsman Fawad Alam. The series begins in Rawalpindi on December 10.

The left-hander, 34, last played for Pakistan 10 years ago against New Zealand in Dunedin in 2009 but chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq said that Alam has been in good form in the domestic competition.

“It is a reward for Alam’s continued hard work, perseverance and dedication to the game,” Misbah-ul-Haq said. “His selection is not only a lesson to the emerging cricketers but also a testament of the selectors’ policy of valuing domestic cricket and rewarding consistent performers.”

In his 16-year first-class career, Alam has scored 12,222 runs at an average of 56.84. Alam made his debut in 2009 against Sri Lanka in Lahore and scored a century in that infamous series which saw a terrorist attack on the visiting team.

He, however, continued to play one-day international cricket for Pakistan and last played in 2015 against Bangladesh in Dhaka.

Pakistan is returning from a series loss against Australia. They made another changeto the 16-man squad from that series in the form of Usman Shinwari who replaces Mohammad Musa who, despite exclusion, will continue to remain with the squad.

“Shinwari backed up his fitness, form and ability to bowl long spells at a good pace, which was evident during the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy,” Misbah-ul-Haq said. “I am sure he will make up a good combination with Imran Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi.”

Squad: Azhar Ali (captain), Abid Ali, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Fawad Alam, Haris Sohail, Imam-ul-Haq, Imran Khan, Kashif Bhatti, Mohammad Abbas, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Shan Masood, Yasir Shah, Usman Shinwari.