It was in Australia that the young pace sensation Naseem Shah made his first appearance for Pakistan last month. Though he couldn’t showcase the performance that he did in the practice matches before the Test series, he was seen as a promising prospect for the years to come. Ahead of the U19 World Cup in South Africa next year, the Pakistan Cricket Board’s junior national selection committee named the 16-year old.
Naseem Shah got his first Test cap in the first Test at the Gabba in Brisbane in November. His pace was impressive; however, his accuracy had come under question. His first Test wicket was the opening batsman David Warner, who was then batting on 154. The squad for the men in green includes three openers, three middle-order batsmen, one wicketkeeper, three all-rounders, a couple of spinners and three fast bowlers.
Chairman of the selection committee Saleem Jaffar confirmed that these players were chosen based on their current performances and merits. He further stated that these athletes would carry on to give the same returns as they have and will thrive in the competition.
“Criteria for selection was current performances and meritocracy, and I am pleased it was a consensus decision. These players have been performing up to our expectations and I am hopeful they will carry their good form into the series and produce solid performances,” Jaffar said as quoted by sports.ndtv.com
Rohail Nazir to lead the side Pakistan side
Wicketkeeper-batsman Rohail Nazir who captained Pakistan in the previous year’s ACC U19 Aisa Cup will serve as the skipper. Opening batsman Haider Ali has been named as the vice-captain. The men in green, who have lifted the trophy twice have been clubbed with Scotland, Zimbabwe, and Bangladesh. They kickstart their campaign against Scotland on January 19 in Potchefstroom.
The top two teams from each of the four groups will progress to the Super League stage, while the remaining sides will compete in the Plate Championship. The Super League stage of the 16-man event will begin from January 28 and the top four sides that will qualify for the semi-finals. The final is scheduled to take place in Benoni on February 9.
Pakistan squad: Rohail Nazir (capt/wk), Wahid Bangalzai, Haider Ali, Mohammad Shahzad, Mohammad Harris, Mohammad Huraira, Mohammad Irfan Khan, Abbas Afridi, Fahar Munir, Qasim Akram, Amir Ali, Arish Ali Khan, Amir Khan, Naseem Shah, Tahir Hussain.
Watch: Wahab Riaz delivers a perfect yorker in MSL 2019
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