Sports

Pakistan U19 off to Sri Lanka as part of ICC U19 World Cup 2020 preparations

Rohail Nazir, Muhammad Taha, and Saim Ayub consider the series as an important one ahead of future assignments.

Lahore, May 23, 2019: Pakistan U19 team captained by Rohail Nazir, left for Colombo, Sri Lanka, early Thursday morning for a series of five 50-over matches to be played from 26 May to 5 June in Hambantota.

The series is part of the side’s preparation for next year’s ICC U19 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 made a big impression in the Inter-Region U19 One-day tournament held in August 2018, while prior to their departure, they underwent a rigorous four-day training camp at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore.

Captain and wicketkeeper Rohail Nazir, one of the star performers in the Inter-Region U19 One-day tournament with 238 runs in seven matches, said: “Such tours provide great exposure and opportunity for players to play and perform in different conditions, which help them prepare for the big tournaments like ICC U19 Cricket World Cup.

“I would like to appreciate the efforts made by Pakistan Cricket Board to reschedule the Sri Lanka tour, which would greatly help us in future.”

Middle-order batsman Mohammad Taha said, “We have prepared well for Sri Lanka tour and we are hopeful for positive results.”

Saim Ayub, the left-handed batsman, said: “There has been a lot of good work done by our coaching staff in all departments of the game and we are confident of winning the series against our counterparts. There are some fresh faces in the team that would make their debut on the tour and it would be great learning experience for them.’’

The tour was originally planned from 6 to 20 May, comprising two four-day matches and three 50-over matches, but has been rescheduled following terror attacks in Colombo.

Immediately after the Sri Lanka tour, Pakistan U19 will travel to South Africa where they will play seven 50-over matches from 19 June to 7 July.

Squad:

Rohail Nazir (captain, wicket-keeper) (Islamabad); Mohammad Taha (vice-captain) (Karachi); Abbas Afridi (FATA); Akhtar Shah (Quetta); Basit Ali (Multan); Haider Ali (Rawalpindi); Khayyam Khan (wicketkeeper) (Abbottabad); Mohammad Haris (Peshawar); Mohammad Junaid (Quetta); Mohammad Wasim (FATA); Niaz Khan (Peshawar); Saim Ayub (Karachi); Shiraz Khan (Rawalpindi); Suleman Shafqat (Faisalabad) and Qasim Akram (Lahore)

Team management:

Azam Khan (coach-cum-manager), Mohtashim Rasheed (assistant coach), Faheem Shah (physiotherapist), Saboor Ahmed (trainer), Usman Hashmi (analyst)

Tour schedule:

Sunday, 26 May – 1st 50-over match v Sri Lanka U19, Hambantota
Tuesday, 28 May – 2nd 50-over match v Sri Lanka U19, Hambantota
Friday, 31 May – 3rd 50-over match v Sri Lanka U19, Hambantota
Sunday, 2 June – 4th 50-over match v Sri Lanka U19, Hambantota
Wednesday, 5 June – 5th 50-over match v Sri Lanka U19, Hambantota
Thursday, 6 June – Departure

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