Pakistani colts eye third spot in ICC U19 Cricket World Cup
Pakistan U19 will finish off their ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 campaign with their third position play-off match against New Zealand at the Willowmoore Park, Benoni on Saturday.
The Rohail Nazir-led Pakistan U19 were defeated by India in the Super League semi-final at the JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom on Tuesday which ended their hopes of winning the title for the third time. However, there will be a lot at stake when they take on New Zealand who lost their Super League semi-final to Bangladesh in Potchefstroom on Thursday. The boys in green are eager to end with a positive result by sealing the third spot.
Finishing third will help Pakistan U19 improve on their fourth spot in the last ICC U19 Cricket World Cup played in New Zealand in 2018. Head coach Ijaz Ahmed confirmed at least one change in the eleven for tomorrow as left-arm-pacer Tahir Hussain has been ruled out of the match due to a back injury.
Ijaz Ahmed said: “The third place play-off is a very important game for us as we want to finish the tournament on a high. We are practicing the same way we had for every game. We want to finish third. “We have told the players that it is another game and they should concentrate on their daily processes rather than worrying too much. This phase is also a part of the development of the players and a lesson that should come in handy for them in their careers ahead. I strongly feel these players have the potential to progress to a bigger stage. This bunch of players is very capable and some of them will surely represent Pakistan, play the HBL Pakistan Super League and first-class cricket in the days ahead. As a coach it gives me great pleasure to work on the players full of potential, the World Cup was part of their development and they have done fairly well in that aspect.”
The team will meanwhile fly out of Johannesburg on Sunday morning; the players are expected to reach their home cities in the wee hours of Monday, 10 February.
Pakistan squad: Rohail Nazir (captain and wicketkeeper), Abbas Afridi (Peshawar), Abdul Wahid Bangalzai (Quetta), Amir Ali (Larkana), Amir Khan (Peshawar), Arish Ali Khan (Karachi), Fahad Munir (Lahore), Haider Ali (vice-captain), Qasim Akram (Lahore), Mohammad Haris (Peshawar), Mohammad Huraira (Sialkot), Mohammad Irfan Khan (Lahore), Mohammad Shehzad (Multan), Mohammad Wasim Jnr (North Waziristan), Tahir Hussain (Multan)