Pakistan Under-19 team has departed for Durban, South Africa, early Saturday morning for a series of seven 50-over matches to be played from 22 June to 7 July in Pietermaritzburg and Durban and later to participate in World Cup.
The series is part of the side’s preparation for next year’s ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2020, which will be staged in South Africa from 17 January to 9 February 2020. The 15-player side includes a number of exciting players who performed well in the 3-2 series victory over Sri Lanka in Hambantota recently.
Captain and wicketkeeper/batsman Rohail Nazir, who top-scored in the five-match 50-over series against Sri Lanka with 320 runs, said: “The win over Sri Lanka U19 has boosted the players’ confidence for the South Africa series. The win has provided us a great platform to perform well not only on the upcoming tour but later this year’s ACC Under-19 Asia Cup 2019 in Sri Lanka, followed by the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2020.
The South Africa tour is a well-planned one as the seven-match 50-over series will help the players to learn about the conditions and be better prepared for next year’s ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup.” On the return of fast bowler Naseem Shah from injury, Rohail said: “Naseem and I have been playing cricket together since the U16 level. Naseem’s inclusion in the side will surely give strength to the fast bowling department. He has represented Pakistan in the Asia Cup last year, featured in first-class cricket and his experience will help the side on the tour.” Azam Khan, team’s coach-cum-manager, said: “The series win against Sri Lanka has provided the players a stage from where they can continue to improve and learn, and this South Africa tour will award them this opportunity.”
Naseem Shah, the right-arm fast bowler from Lahore, was ruled out from competitive cricket last October due to back injury. The fast bowler worked with the National Cricket Academy as part of the rehabilitation process, and is excited to represent Pakistan Under-19 again.
Rohail Nazir (captain, wicketkeeper) (Islamabad); Haider Ali (vice-captain) Abbas Afridi (FATA); Akhtar Shah (Quetta); Amir Ali (Larkana); Basit Ali (Multan); Fahad Munir (Lahore); Irfan Niazi (Faisalabad); Mohammad Amir (Peshawar);Mohammad Haris (Peshawar); Mohammad Wasim (FATA); Naseem Shah (Lahore); Qasim Akram (Lahore); Saim Ayub (Karachi); and Shiraz Khan (Rawalpindi)