- Zakir Khan: “It is a stepping-stone for future stars and the PCB is committed to investing and providing our talented teenagers as much experience and exposure as possible at this level”
- 26 probables to feature in two trial matches at the National Stadium, squad to be announced on 15 April
Lahore, 9 April 2019: Pakistan’s preparations for reclaiming the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup will kick-start next month when they will play two four-day and three 50-over matches against Sri Lanka in Galle and Hambantota, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced today.
The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 will be played in South Africa from 17 January to 9 February 2020, and Pakistan will aim to annex the trophy for the first time since 2006 when national captain Sarfaraz Ahmed had lifted the silverware in Colombo after defeating India in a low-scoring thriller.
Pakistan also won the title in Bangladesh in 2004, finished second in Australia (1998 and 2010) and the United Arab Emirates (2014), while they claimed third positions in Malaysia and New Zealand in 2008 and 2018, respectively.
The three-week Sri Lanka tour will comprise two four-day matches from 3-6 May and 9-12 May in Galle and Hambantota, respectively, while the 50-over fixtures will be played on 15, 17 and 20 May.
In this regard, the Junior Selection Committee, headed by former Test batsman Basit Ali, has announced 26 probables (born on or after 1 September 2000) who will feature in a three-day trial match from 11-13 April and a one-day trial match on 15 May at the National Stadium, before the 15-player squad along with five reserves are announced.
PCB Director – International, Zakir Khan, said: “Junior cricket is the supply-line for our national team. It is a stepping-stone for future stars and the PCB is committed to investing and providing our talented teenagers as much experience and exposure as possible at this level so that they are better prepared for bigger and tougher future challenges.
“The tour to Sri Lanka is the first step in our ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 preparations as we aim to regain the title next year. It is the PCB’s responsibility to create and provide opportunities and platforms to our next generation of cricketers to express themselves and carry forward the good work of the current or previous generations.
“While finalising junior tours, the PCB is ensuring it continues to maintain the primacy of red ball cricket and develop cricketers who are equally well prepared for the longer version of the game. While our U16 team will play two three-match matches against Bangladesh next month, we have scheduled as many four-dayers for the U19 side.”
The past five ICC U19 Cricket World Cups have given Pakistan cricketers such as Ahmed Shehzad (2010), Babar Azam, Mohammad Nawaz, Ehsan Adil ( all 2012), Sami Aslam, Imam-ul-Haq (both 2012 & 2014), Shadab Khan (2016) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (2018).
Apart from the upcoming Sri Lanka tour, a couple of more U19 tours in the build-up to the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 are in the pipeline and further announcements will be made in due course.
Probables - Khayyam Khan (Abbottabad), Muzammil Khan (Bahawalpur), Basit Ali (DG Khan/Multan), Irfan Niazi, Sulman Shafqat (both Faisalabad), Abbas Afridi, Aftab Alam, Mohammad Wasim, Said Nazir (all FATA), Rohail Nazir (Islamabad), Mohammad Taha, Nadir Shah, Saim Ayub (all Karachi), Fahad Munir, Qasim Akram (both Lahore), Amir Ali (Larkana), Mohammad Asif, M. Jahangir (both Multan), Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Haris, Niaz Khan, Salman Khan Jr. (all Peshawar), Akhtar Shah, Muhammad Junaid (both Quetta), Haider Ali and Shiraz Khan (Rawalpindi)
30 April – Departure for Colombo
3-6 May – 1st four-day match, Galle
9-12 May – 2nd four-day match, Hambantota
15 May – 1st 50-over match, Hambantota
17 May – 2nd 50-over match, Hambantota
20 May – 3rd 50-over match, Galle