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Pakistan and Australia U16s ready to take the centre stage

  • First 50-over match of the five-game series to be played in Dubai on Wednesday

  • “The real purpose is to groom the players and give them exposure,” says Pakistan U16 Manager Taimoor Azam Khan

  • “The series is an opportunity for these young men to go and learn in different conditions and be challenged in different ways,” says Australia U16 coach Chris Rogers

  • PCB to provide match reports and action photographs; hashtags are #PAKU16vAUSU16 and #PakistanFutureStars

Lahore, 8 January 2019: Pakistan U16 begin their five-match 50 overs-a-side series against Australia U16 at the ICC Academy in Dubai on Wednesday with the game starting at 10h30 PST (09h30 Dubai time).

The two sides are eagerly looking forward to the series, which is designed to give the future stars a taste of international cricket.

Pakistan, led by promising all-rounder Umer Eman, have a right mix of batsmen, fast bowlers and spinners, who will be eying to establish their credentials at the junior level, especially with the prospect of representing their country in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup to be played in South Africa in 2020.

Pakistan cricket team manager Taimoor Azam Khan felt that more than winning the series, the opportunity of testing the skills of his teenagers would be the best take away from the tour.

“It is a major step forward for the players vying to secure their spots in the national junior team for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020. We want to groom these players for the challenges ahead. It is a fantastic opportunity for the players to continue their development and play against their peers,” Taimoor said.

He added: “We have some exciting batsmen and all-rounders like Ali Hassan, Kashif Ali and Mohammad Shehzad in our squad. Spinners like Ali Hassan and Faisal Akram have shown great skills at this early stage of their careers, while fast bowler Farhad Khan is also a good prospect with his strong built and height.”

Australia are being coached by former Test batsman Chris Rogers, who had toured with the senior Australia team for the two-Test match series in 2014 - the series that was won by a decisive 2-0 margin by the Misbah-ul-Haq led Pakistan.

Four-and-a-half years later, Rogers, donning the U16 coach hat, was excited about the opportunity of testing his youngsters in different conditions to the ones they are used to back home.

“The series is an opportunity for these young men to go and learn in different conditions and be challenged in different ways,” Rogers said. “It’s as much about the cricket as it is the life experience - learning about the game, and learning about life and other cultures.

“We know the cricket is going to be challenging. Pakistan will have a really good side, and we’re excited about that challenge.

“There’s no pressure - it’s all about learning. I’m looking forward to seeing the Australian players continue to improve, and seeing which players look to learn and find ways to get better in these conditions.”

Australia have named two ‘co-captains’ for the series with Jamison Murphy from South Australia sharing responsibilities with Queensland’s Noah McFadyen.

The squad also includes some budding stars, keen on making a big impression in Dubai.

Some of the Australia U16 players to watch out for include, Shobit Singh, a right-handed top order batsman from Victoria, who scored 311 runs at an average of 51.8 at the CA U17 Male National Championships in October.

Tobias Snell, a wicketkeeper-batsman, who averaged 35 with the bat at the CA U17 Male National Championships and also took five catches and four stumpings; and Nivethan Radhakrishnan, an all-rounder, who can bowl with both arms - both left and right arm orthodox spin - and claimed seven wickets at the CA U17 Male National Championships.

Teams (to be selected from):

Australia U16 squad: Connor Cook (New South Wales), Devlin Webb (Victoria), Dylan McAteer, Felix Ford (Australian Capital Territory), Jamison Murphy - co-captain (South Australia), Josh Sims (South Australia), Josh Smith (Queensland), Keegan de Koker (Western Australia),  Nicholas Davis (Tasmania), Nivethan Radhakrishnan (New South Wales), Noah McFadyen - co-captain (Queensland), Ryley Smith (New South Wales), Shobit Singh (Victoria), Tobias Snell (Queensland)

Pakistan U16 side: Umer Eman (captain), Aaliyan Mehmood, Ahmed Khan, Ali Asfand, Ali Hassan, Aseer Mughal, Ayaz Shah, Faisal Akram, Farhad Khan, Haseebullah Khan, Kashif Ali (vice-captain), Mohammad Shehzad, Rizwan Mahmood, Sameer Saqib and Zubair Shinwari (wicketkeeper)

Series schedule:

  • 9 January – 1st 50-over match, ICC Academy, Dubai
  • 11 January – 2nd 50-over match, ICC Academy, Dubai
  • 13 January – 3rd 50-over match, ICC Academy, Dubai
  • 16 January – 4th 50-over match, ICC Academy, Dubai
  • 18 January – 5th 50-over match, ICC Academy, Dubai
  • 20 January – one-off T20 match, ICC Academy, Dubai

Match officials:

Ian Dixon and Shiju Sam will be the on-field umpires for all five 50-over matches and the one-off T2o match in the Pakistan U16 vs Australia U16 series.

Read more: Players profile