Pakistan announced Under-19 squad for Bangladesh tour

From our correspondent

LAHORE: Pakistan Under-19 cricket team will tour Bangladesh next month to play a four-day and five 50-over matches against the side that won the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in South Africa last year.

As per the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2022 age criteria, players born or after 1 September 2002 have been selected. The tour has been arranged to provide further exposure to Pakistan cricket’s future stars following an extensive camp at the start of the year at the National High Performance Centre in Lahore. The tour will also help prepare the players for next year’s ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies.

Prior to the 12 April departure, the team will play two 50-over practice matches besides a three-day match during a 10-day long camp that will run in Lahore from 2-11 April. The 20-member squad has been chosen by the national juniors’ selection committee in consultation with the Pakistan Under-19 head coach.

“The tour provides a wonderful grooming opportunity for the players against one of the most formidable U19 sides at present which won the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup last year. We have a talented bunch of players and a number of them have proven their worth already at the domestic circuit in the recently concluded season,” head coach Ijaz Ahmed said..

“The squad also includes players like Abdul Wahid, Qasim Akram, Fahad Munir, Mohammad Irfan Niazi, Mohammad Shehzad and Tahir Hussain who represented Pakistan Under-19 in the World Cup, the tour will help further develop the skills of these players as they are our future. The tour will be a challenging one for us and one that will hold these players in good stead in this developmental stage of their careers. The series will also help us identify the potential players that we will field in next year’s World Cup in the West Indies.”

Six players who were part of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2020 in South Africa have been retained in the squad. They are: Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Fahad Munir, Qasim Akram, Mohammad Irfan Niazi, Mohammad Shehzad and Tahir Hussain.

Opener Abdul Wahid represented Balochistan 1st XI in the recently-concluded domestic season, batting all-rounder Qasim was one of the star performers for Central Punjab who was subsequently selected by Karachi Kings for the HBL Pakistan Super League 6, and top-order batsman Mohammad Irfan Niazi represented Central Punjab 1st XI in the National T20 Cup (1st XI) that was played in Multan and Rawalpindi.

The players and management will be tested for Covid-19 before entering the camp, and those returning negative tests will move into a bio-secure for the team that will be set-up in Lahore.  The players and team management will be vaccinated for Covid-19 on 8 April.

Pakistan U19 squad for Bangladesh tour:

Batsmen – Abbas Ali, Abdul Faseeh, Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Fahad Munir, Maaz Sadaqat, Mohammad Irfan Niazi, Mohammad Shehzad, Qasim Akram and Rizwan Mehmood

Wicketkeepers – Haseebullah and Raza-ul-Mustafa

Spinners – Aaliyan Mehmood, Ali Asfand, Arham Nawab and Faisal Akram

Fast bowlers – Ahmed Khan, Asim Ali, Muneeb Wasif, Tahir Hussain and Zeeshan Zameer

Players Support Personnel – Ijaz Ahmed (head coach and team manager), Imranullah (trainer), Rao Iftikhar (bowling coach), Mohtashim Rasheed (fielding coach), Hafiz Naeem (physiotherapist), Col (retd) Safdar Saeed (security manager), Faisal Rai (analyst) and Emmad Ahmed Hameed (media manager).

Tour schedule:

12 April – Departure for Dhaka

16-18 April – Training, Sylhet

19-22 April – Four-day match; SICS, Sylhet

26 April – 1st 50-over match; SICS, Sylhet

28 April – 2nd 50-over match; SICS, Sylhet

30 April – 3rd 50-over match; SICS, Sylhet

3 May – 4th 50-over match; SBNCS, Dhaka

5 May – 5th 50-over match; SBNCS, Dhaka

6 May – Team return to Pakistan