U-19 World Cup: Pace sensation Naseem Shah named in Pakistan squad

Having impressed in his recent debut Test against Australia, the 16-year-old Naseem is called upon to help the U-19 team win the World Cup.

Naseem Shah has so far played eight first-class matches in his career.   -  Getty Images

Pace sensation Naseem Shah was on Friday named in the Pakistan squad for the U-19 World Cup to be held in South Africa from January 17 to February 9.

Ejaz Ahmed, the head coach of the Pakistan juniors, had requested the chief selector and national bowling coach Waqar Younis to release Naseem from the senior outfit — he participated in the recent Test series in Australia — for the youth World Cup.

“Despite a Test series coming up against Sri Lanka this month, Misbah [ul-Haq] and Waqar decided to accept Ejaz Ahmed’s request as Pakistan has not won the ICC Youth World Cup in a while,” a reliable source in the Board said.

Read | Naseem is 16, don't care what India thinks, says PCB

The 16-year-old Naseem made his debut in the first Test in Brisbane and impressed with his pace. He was not named for the second day-night Test in Adelaide with Waqar insisting that it was a decision based on workload management. Naseem took one wicket in his debut Test.

Former Test opener and ex-chief selector Mohsin Khan questioned Naseem’s inclusion in the U-19 squad. “It just shows that we are not developing players at the junior level and instead focus on winning events. Imagine a Test player playing alongside youngsters in the junior World Cup. What impression does it create of Pakistan cricket?” he said.

The squad
  • Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Haider Ali, Mohammad Shehzad, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Huraira, Mohammad Irfan Khan, Rohail Nazir (c), Abbas Afridi, Fahad Munir, Qasim Akram, Amir Ali, Arish Ali Khan, Amir Khan, Naseem Shah, Tahir Hussain.