ISLAMABAD: Talented Islamabad cricketer Rohail Nazir, who recently helped Pakistan win the Emerging Teams Asia Cup, has been named national captain for the U19 World Cup that will be hosted by South...
ISLAMABAD: Talented Islamabad cricketer Rohail Nazir, who recently helped Pakistan win the Emerging Teams Asia Cup, has been named national captain for the U19 World Cup that will be hosted by South Africa from January 17 to February 10.
The junior selection committee headed by Saleem Jaffar named a powerful 15-member squad that also includes Naseem Shah, the young pacer who is now a Test cricketer.
Rohail is in terrific form and has led Pakistan in Under-19 Asia Cup previously. Haider Ali is the vice-captain. “It is a balanced side with some very talented cricketers in the line-up,” Rohail said while talking to ‘The News’. He hoped that the team will perform well in the World Cup.
For Rohail, this will be his second U19 World Cup. After scoring a century on his first-class debut last year, he was appointed U19 captain for the U19 Asia Cup. He was one of the most impressive players in the bilateral series against Sri Lanka and South Africa, and then carried his form into the Emerging Teams Asia Cup in which he scored a century in the final.
Pakistan, the 2004 and 2006 champions and three-time runners-up, are placed in Group C of the 16-team event and will play Scotland in their opening match on January 19 in Potchefstroom.
Their second match will be against Zimbabwe at the Witrand Oval in Bloemfontein on January 22 while their third and final group match will be on the 24th at the JP Marks Oval against Bangladesh. The top two teams from each of the four groups will advance to the Super League, while the remaining teams will feature in the Plate Championship.
Chief selector Saleem Jafar said: “I want to congratulate all the players on their selection in the Pakistan squad for the U19 World Cup. I know some of the players will be disappointed at not being picked, but it was a tough task as we had a pool of some very exciting and exceptionally talented players to choose from. I would encourage all the players who have missed out on selection to remain positive and motivated as I am confident there will be opportunities for them down the road.
“Criteria for selection was current performances and meritocracy, and I am pleased it was a consensus decision. These players have been performing up to our expectations and I am hopeful they will carry their good form into the series and produce solid performances.
“Barring Aamir Khan, Arish Ali Khan and Mohammad Huraira, all others have represented Pakistan in international junior series this year. However, the three boys made our task easier by consistently producing impressive performances in the domestic season.”
Team management: Ijaz Ahmed (head coach-cum-manager), Rao Iftikhar Anjum (bowling coach), Abdul Majeed (assistant coach), Saboor Ahmad (trainer), Hafiz Naeemur Rasul (physiotherapist), Usman Hashmi (analyst), Emmad Ahmed Hameed (media manager), Col (r) Usman Riffat Ansari (security manager).