LAHORE: Promising batting all-rounder Qasim Akram will lead Pakistan Under-19 on the tour of Bangladesh, which includes a four-day game and five 50-over fixtures in Sylhet and Dhaka against the current world champions.
The 18-year-old from Lahore was identified as one of the players to watch-out for by head coach Ijaz Ahmed during last year’s ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in South Africa where he scored 93 runs at 46.50 and took three wickets at 31.
Qasim lived up to his potential in the 2020-21 domestic season as he made a big impression in all three formats for Central Punjab. He scored 389 runs in eight first-class matches, 462 runs in 12 List A games and 72 in six T20 innings before being included in the Karachi Kings squad for the HBL Pakistan Super League 6 season as an emerging player.
Qasim also performed well as off-spinner.
Commenting on this appointment, Qasim remarked: “It is a big honour for me to lead Pakistan Under-19 after I had a decent last one year. I have learned a great deal during the hugely competitive domestic season where I represented Central Punjab.
“My aim would be to guide the [Pakistan U-19] team to the best of my ability and to pass on the experiences of my maiden domestic season during the tour as we build towards next year’s ICC Under-19 World Cup in the West Indies where we would aim to better our semi-final performance of last edition in South Africa.
“This tour will help us identify the players that will form the core of the World Cup squad, the tour will also provide a great exposure to the squad against the reigning world champions and will help us in our development for the years ahead.”
Meanwhile, the selectors have trimmed the 20-player squad to a 17-member party. Pace bowler Asim Ali, off-spinner Arham Nawab and batsman Rizwan Mahmood, have failed to make the cut but they will continue to train with the squad till the side’s departure for Dhaka on April 17 The pre-tour training camp, which is currently taking place at the Gaddafi Stadium, will move to the National High Performance Centre on Monday.
Squad: Qasim Akram (captain), Abbas Ali, Abdul Faseeh, Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Aliyan Mahmood, Ahmed Khan, Ali Asfand, Fahad Munir, Faisal Akram, Haseebullah, Maaz Sadaqat, Mohammad Irfan Niazi, Mohammad Shehzad, Muneeb Wasif, Raza-ul-Mustafa, Tahir Hussain, Zeeshan Zameer.
Team management: Ijaz Ahmed (head coach-cum-team manager), Imranullah (trainer), Rao Iftikhar (bowling coach), Mohtashim Rasheed (fielding coach), Hafiz Naeem (physiotherapist), retired Colonel Safdar Saeed (security manager), Faisal Rai (analyst), Emmad Ahmed Hameed (media manager).
April 17: Arrive in Dhaka.
April 23-26: Only four-day match (Sylhet).
April 30: 1st one-day match (Sylhet).
May 2: 2nd one-day match (Sylhet)
May 4: 3rd one-day match (Sylhet).
May 7: 4th one-day match (SBNCS, Dhaka).
May 9: 5th one-day match (SBNCS, Dhaka).
May 10: Return home.
Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2021