Tuesday, December 6, 2022

PCB: Saad Baig to captain Pakistan U19 against Bangladesh

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  • Teenagers with impressive performances in the U19 One-Day, Three-Day and PJL tournaments rewarded with national call ups

Lahore, 25 October 2022: Promising wicketkeeper-batter Saad Baig will captain Pakistan U19 in the next month’s series against Bangladesh that will be played at Faisalabad’s Iqbal Stadium. The two sides will face off in a solitary four-day match, three One-Days (45-over) and two T20s. The two boards have made the decision to replace the last two one-day matches with T20s to provide an all-round, all-format exposure to teenage cricketers in competitive setting of international cricket.

Sixteen-year-old Saad, who hails from Karachi, has had an impressive 2022-23 season. He was the second best batter in the 50-over National U19 Cup with 299 runs at a staggering average of 99.67 and a strike rate of 109.12. The left-handed Sindh Blues batter also struck two centuries in four outings with 103 being his highest score of the tournament. Behind the stumps, he was involved in nine dismissals.

In three-day National U19 Championship campaign, Saad scored 200 runs and dismissed 11 batters in six matches.

Captaining Hyderabad Hunters in the Pakistan Junior League, the first of its kind U19 T20 tournament, Saad scored 149 runs including one half-century at a strike rate of 121.

Basit Ali, who belongs to Dera Murad Jamali, has been rewarded for his phenomenal run in the PJL and the One-Day and Three-Day tournaments with his selection in all three sides. Basit was the sole centurion of the inaugural PJL and took home player of the tournament and best batter of the tournament awards for smashing 379 runs at a towering average of 63.17 and sparkling strike rate of 150.40.

The right-hander was the fourth best run-getter in the three-day championship with 323 runs at an average of almost 54 and average 66.67 in the four one-day tournament matches as he piled up 200 runs.

The squads were announced after a meeting of the junior selection committee, which is headed by national men’s chief selector Muhammad Wasim. The players were selected after going through a robust process. In the 2022-23 season, the U19 players featured in a 93-team U19 City Cricket Association tournament held in six Cricket Associations, which was later trimmed to 480 teenage players, that participated in the 24-team U19 Divisional tournament and later the performers of the Divisional tournament took part in the 12-team National U19 tournaments. The performers of the recently-concluded six-team Pakistan Junior League were also considered for selection.

The players will assemble at the National High Performance Centre in Lahore on 26 October for a five-day-long pre-series camp that will run from 27 till 31 October before the squad travels to Faisalabad on 1 November.

Pakistan U19 squads for Bangladesh series:

Four-day squad:

Saad Baig (captain) (Sindh), Abdul Basit (Northern), Ali Asfand (Central Punjab), Basit Ali (Balochistan), Habibullah (Sindh), Haseeb Nazim (Southern Punjab), Mohammad Farooq (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Ibtisam (Central Punjab), Mohammad Ismail (Southern Punjab), Mohammad Nabeel (Northern), Mohammad Shoaib (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Tayyab Arif (Central Punjab), Mohammad Zulkifal (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Naveed Ahmed (Sindh), Uzair Mumtaz (Southern Punjab) and Wahaj Riaz (Sindh)

One-Day squad:

Saad Baig (captain) (Sindh), Abdul Basit (Northern), Ali Asfand (Central Punjab), Ali Raza (Central Punjab), Arafat Minhas (Southern Punjab), Basit Ali (Balochistan), Habibullah (Sindh), Mohammad Farooq (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Ibtisam (Central Punjab), Mohammad Ismail (Southern Punjab), Mohammad Shoaib (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Tayyab Arif (Central Punjab), Momin Qamar (Central Punjab),  Shahzaib Khan (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Shawaiz Irfan (Central Punjab) and Uzair Mumtaz (Southern Punjab)

T20 squad:

Saad Baig (captain) (Sindh), Ali Asfand (Central Punjab), Ali Raza (Central Punjab), Arafat Minhas (Southern Punjab), Arham Nawab (Central Punjab), Basit Ali (Balochistan), Habibullah (Sindh), Mohammad Ibtisam (Central Punjab), Mohammad Shoaib (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Mohammad Tayyab Arif (Central Punjab), Mohammad Zeeshan (Central Punjab), Momin Qamar (Central Punjab), Saad Masood (Northern), Shamyl Hussain (Northern), Shawaiz Irfan (Central Punjab) and Uzair Mumtaz (Southern Punjab)

Players Support Personnel – Abdul Rehman (head coach), Gordon Parsons (bowling coach), Hanif Malik (fielding coach), Imranullah (Strength and conditioning coach), Faisal Rai (analyst) and Syed Muhammad Asad (physiotherapist)

Muhammad Wasim: “I congratulate each and every player who has made to the Pakistan U19 squad for the upcoming series against Bangladesh. Representing Pakistan is a huge honour and I am sure that these talented teenage cricketers will grab the opportunity from both hands and prove their selection right.

“The performers of age-group tournaments have been rewarded for their impressive performances and we have also included players who showed potential to outshine.

“With the two teams competing in four-day, one-days and T20s, this series comes with an opportunity to adapt to different formats of the game in high-pressure environment.”

The junior selection committee is available here.

Series Itinerary:

4-7 November – Four-day match; Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad

10 November – First One-Day match; Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad

12 November – Second One-Day match; Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad

14 November – Third One-Day match; Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad

16 November – First T20; Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad

18 November – Second T20; Iqbal Stadium, Faisalabad

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