Babar Azam has been retained as captain & Umar Waheed will continue to be his deputy. Pakistan were runners up during the triangular series in South Africa, winners of the youth one day series against South Africa, winners of the 2 games against British Universities in Lahore & joint winners of the Asia Cup in Malaysia after a last ball tie against arch rivals India.
Pakistan’s stand out performer this year has been Sami Aslam who was player of the tournament in both the triangular series in South Africa & the Asia Cup competition in Malaysia. Sami also scored an unbeaten double century in one of the 2 games against the British Universities touring side. Mohammad Nawaz has been the other bright spark with 3 man of the match awards & three 5 wicket hauls in 50 over games this year. Sami is a left handed opening batsman whereas Nawaz is a left arm spinner who is the best all-rounder in the side.
As a keen follower of the under 19 side the 5 key players in my honest assessment will be Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Mohammad Nawaz, Umar Waheed & last but not least Usman Qadir.
Usman Qadir has been named in the squad after recovering from a thumb injury which made him miss the final of the Asia Cup earlier this month.
Salman Afridi has been favoured over Saifullah Bangash as the wicket keeper. Bangash was the keeper during the tour of South Africa whereas Afridi did the work behind the stumps during the recently concluded Asia Cup.
Coach Sabih Azhar is confident & hopeful of the team’s chances & feels many of these players can break into the national side in the near future.
Below are the players who were fortunate enough to make the 15 man squad
- Babar Azam (capt), Umar Waheed (vice-capt), Sami Aslam, Imam-ul-Haq, Azizullah, Mir Hamza, Ehsan Adil, Salman Afridi (wk), Mohammad Nawaz, Faraz Ali, Zafar Gohar, Zia-ul-Haq, Shahid Ilyas, Usman Qadir, Saad Ali