Karachi: Teen pace sensation Naseem Shah was on Friday named in Pakistan’s under-19 World Cup squad after his impressive senior Test debut in Australia.
The Pakistan junior selectors picked the squad for the tournament to be held in South Africa from 17 January to 9 February. The head coach of the Pakistan juniors Ejaz Ahmed had requested the chief selector and national bowling coach Waqar Younis to release Naseem from the senior outfit 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.
The 16-year-old Naseem made his debut in the first Test at 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 under-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.
Squad: Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Haider Ali, Mohammad Shehzad, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Huraira, Mohammad Irfan Khan, Rohail Nazir (captain), Abbas Afridi , Fahad Munir, Qasim Akram, Amir Ali, Arish Ali Khan, Amir Khan, Naseem Shah, Tahir Hussain.