Engro cricket coaching project starts next week

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LAHORE: Six foreign coaches including three Test cricketers will be involved in the second year of the Engro Cricket Coaching Project under the PCB Pathway Cricket Programme that commences next week.

Around 120 players from U13 to U19 age group will be provided training by foreign as well as local coaches from 10 July to 10 August in Lahore and Muridke. For the programme, PCB and Engro Corporation entered into a three-year agreement last year, on the basis of which, Engro Corporation is sponsoring the foreign coaches involved in the programme.

The Elite coaches include Australia’s Geoff Lawson, New Zealand’s Scott McLaren (strength and conditioning coach), South Africa’s Herschelle Gibbs, United Kingdom’s Gordon Parsons and Julien Fountain and Zimbabwe’s Tatenda Taibu. The coaches that have played international cricket include Australia’s Lawson (46 Tests, 79 ODIs), South Africa’s Gibbs (90 Tests, 248 ODIs, 23 T20Is) and Zimbabwe’s Taibu (28 Tests, 150 ODIs, 17 T20Is).

At one time, five coaches will work in the coaching project, with Gibbs working with the U13 and U16 players only. He will depart on 16 July and will be replaced by Lawson, who will arrive on 22 July to work couple of days with the U16 players before joining the U19 cricket clinic.

Parsons, who has worked as bowling and head coach in South Africa and the UK, was involved in last year’s programme and remained bowling coach during Pakistan U19’s home series against Bangladesh in November 2022. Parsons will be bowling coach in the programme, while former Pakistan Men’s fielding coach Fountain will work as fielding coach in the programme.

U13

25 U13 players selected for the programme will undergo training at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) from 13 to 25 July. The players born on or after 1 September 2010 are eligible for selection. Furthermore, the players have been selected considering their performances in the Inter-Region U13 One-Day Tournament which was held this year from 12 March to 5 May and the players who were part of the 100 Programme last year. The players that have performed in the U13 tournament, but are overage have been migrated to U16 level. More details on the criteria for U13 players selection is available here.

U16

37 U16 players will take part in the programme at the Muridke Country Club (MCC) from 10 to 25 July. The players born on or after 1 September 2007 have been selected to feature in the programme. The players are selected after performing in the Inter-Region U16 One-Day Tournament which was held this year from 12 March to 6 May and who were part of 100 programme last year. Like U13, the players that have performed in the U16 tournament, but are overage have been progressed to U19 level. More details on the criteria for this age-group selection is available here.

U19

Around 58 U19 players in two groups will work under elite coaches at the NCA and MCC concurrently from 26 July to 10 August. The eligibility criteria for the U19 players is 1 September 2004. The names of the players will be announced in due course.

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