LAHORE: Teenage fast-bowler Naseem Shah has been withdrawn from next month’s ICC U19 Cricket World Cup to be played in South Africa from 17 January to 9 February.
The National Junior Selector Committee, which is headed by Saleem Jaffar, has named Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Mohammad Wasim Jnr as Naseem’s replacement.
Wasim Jnr took three wickets each in the ACC Asia Cup and on the tour of South Africa, while he bagged seven wickets on the tour of Sri Lanka. On the domestic circuit, he played one U19 one-day match in which he bagged three wickets, while he snapped up seven wickets in three U19 three-day matches.
PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan said: “The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup is a stepping stone for future stars and a platform for budding youngsters to graduate to international cricket. Naseem has recently broken that glass ceiling and has established his credentials as an international cricketer.
“As such, the PCB has taken a pragmatic approach and decided to withdraw him from next year’s competition to provide this opportunity to another promising cricketer so that he can show his mettle and potential at a global stage.
“This should not deter Pakistan’s chances at next year’s ICC U19 Cricket World Cup as the selectors have picked a side that is experienced and bubbling with confidence to perform strongly.
He said that Naseem Shah will remain in Pakistan and continue to work on his skills under the watchful eyes of bowling coach Waqar Younis. Furthermore, he will remain available for the home series against Bangladesh.
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 19 January in Potchefstroom.
Pakistan’s second match will be against Zimbabwe at the Witrand Oval on Wednesday, 22 January, while their third and final group match will be on 24 January at the JP Marks Oval against Bangladesh in Potchefstroom.
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. The Super League stage will commence from Tuesday, 28 January and the top four sides will qualify for the semi-finals, with the winners competing for the title on Sunday, 9 February, in Potchefstroom.
Meanwhile, the Pakistan U19 cricket team’s preparation camp will commence at the National Cricket Academy from Wednesday, 1 January 2020. The team will depart for Johannesburg on 10 January.