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Ali Asfand vows to make the most of his experience in the U19 World Cup

  • Video interview is available here
  • Urdu version of the media release is attached here

Lahore, 17 January 2024: Left-arm spinner Ali Asfand vows to utilise his experience to the fullest in the upcoming ICC Men’s U19 World Cup in South Africa. Ali is the most experienced player in Pakistan U19’s squad with two first-class, 11 List A and 10 T20 games to his name along with an illustrious age group cricket career. He was also part of the Pakistan Shaheens squad that visited Australia in 2023.

This will be Ali’s second appearance at the tournament, after having played the 2022 edition as well. He is also vice-captain of the Saad Baig-led side.

In a chat with PCB Digital, Ali shared how he started playing the game, “I joined Combined Cricket Club in Faisalabad and started bowling left-arm spin. I played U16 for my region and then went on to represent Pakistan U16. I have worked hard at all levels. I used to follow Zulfiqar Babar a lot and many coaches have helped me fine-tune my action. The late Amir Waseem, a former first-class player, shared a lot of valuable tips.”

Like most kids in Pakistan, he was first asked to focus on studies but he had a clear mind about pursuing a cricket career. He featured in the U16 One Day Tournament in 2018 and was then selected for the Pakistan U16 vs Australia U16 series in UAE.

Ali's best performance came in a three-day game against Bangladesh U16 in October 2019, where he picked up six wickets while bowling 40 overs and giving away just 51 runs. After registering 26 wickets in the National U19 One Day Cup 2020-21 and 2021-22, he was selected for the ICC Men’s U19 World Cup 2022 in the West Indies.

Ali has played 13 One-Day games for Pakistan U19 and boasts a tally of 16 wickets. He played just one game in the last U19 World Cup and will be eagerly looking forward to doing well with the ball in this edition.

Ali said: “I don’t get bogged down by the type of conditions on offer, instead I try and bowl well even on fast wickets. I’ll try to use my variations in the South African conditions and benefit the team with quality bowling. We have a proper squad with talented pacers, spinners, all-rounders and batters. We have prepared well and are looking forward to the tournament.”