Pakistan selectors are in no hurry to recall Mushtaq Ahmed despite his prolific season with county champions Sussex.
Mushtaq spun Sussex to their first ever title with a seasonal haul of 103 wickets, becoming the first centurion wicket-taker in county cricket since 1998.
But chief selector Aamir Sohail said the leg-spinner would have to prove himself against South Africa in a one-day practice game next week to merit consideration ahead of the impending Test and one-day series.
"We know Mushtaq is an experienced bowler, but we also feel that
the quality of opposition in the county championship is not very
high," he said.
"So we want to see for ourselves how he
bowls in the practice game against the visiting team.
"He has taken lot of wickets for Sussex in the county
championship and we can't ignore that.
"But he has been out for a long time and we need to see if
he is bowling well enough to be pitted against South Africa."
Mushtaq, 33, played the last of his 50 Tests
against New Zealand in 2001. He has taken 183 Test wickets at an average of 32.
His two principle rivals for the Test spinner's berth are Saqlain Mushtaq and Danish Kaneria.
Saqlain enjoyed a far less productive county season for Surrey, taking 41 wickets at an average of 33, and in the last three years has taken just one five-wicket haul in Tests.
Danish, 22, has taken 51 wickets in 12 Tests at an average of 26.
South Africa, who play three Tests after three one-day
internationals on their tour of Pakistan, are scheduled to
arrive in Karachi on 22 September.
"If the need arises we can hold him for the one-day
series and than play him in the three-day tour match in Lahore
to see if he can be played in the Test series," Sohail added.
Pakistan's 16-man squad for the one-day series will be named on 23 September.