KARACHI: Former Pakistan Test cricketers Asif Mujtaba and Jalaluddin have been given important positions in the cricket set-up of the United States of America.

Asif, a 25-Test veteran, has been appointed as the women’s youth coach and his primary responsibilities will be to identify and develop young cricketers.

Talking to this correspondent from Dallas, the 52-year-old Mujtaba said his role would be building a junior squad of players to compete for places in USA Cricket’s new women’s U-19 program.

“Providing assistant coaching support to the women’s national team will also be my responsibility,” Asif said.

“Coaching women youth is a big responsibility to prepare them for international events, where young girls are more into to play basketball, soccer, softball etc.”

The former left-handed batsman earlier held position of selector with US men and U-19 teams.

On Mujtaba’s placement in the set-up, Nadia Gruny, a USA cricket board director and chair of the women and girls committee, said this appointment is an important step towards establishing a national junior girls squad.

“We have got our eyes set on preparing girls for the ICC U-19 girls World Cup and the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics should cricket be included in that edition of the Olympics,” Gruny told this correspondent.

The other key appointment is that of former fast bowler and qualified coach Jalaluddin as selector for the South West Zone.

Jalal said Richard Done, USA Cricket Director of Oper­a­tions, and USA Cricket League Director/Chairman Cricket Committee Sushil Nadkarni offered him the position.

“Currently, the zonal trials are underway across the country so I’m looking forward to getting on ground and identify the next generation of cricket talent in the US,” Jalaluddin told this correspondent.

“I have keen interest in playing a significant role in developing US cricket as I believe the US is the upcoming cricket hub based on ICC’s direct involvement along with strategic partners,” Jalaluddin added.

Jalaluddin will join fellow Pakistani Janisar Khan in the selection panel. Janisar, the former Pakistan first-class all-rounder now based in Houston, was appointed a few weeks ago.

Published in Dawn, October 27th, 2020

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