Qasim Akram named Pakistan U19 captain
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Promising batting all-rounder Qasim Akram has been appointed Pakistan U19 captain for this month’s tour of Bangladesh that include a four-day game and five 50-over fixtures in Sylhet and Dhaka.
The 18-year-old from Lahore was identified as one of the players to watch-out for by head coach Ijaz Ahmed at last year’s ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup in South Africa where he scored 93 runs at 46.50 and took three wickets at 31.
Qasim lived up to his potential in the 2020-21 domestic season as he made a big impression in all three formats for Central Punjab. Qasim played eight first-class, 12 List A and 10 T20 matches in the season and later made it to the Karachi Kings squad for the HBL Pakistan Super League 6 season as an emerging player.
The 50-over, List A format (Pakistan Cup) was where Qasim thrived the most. In 12 games for Central Punjab, Qasim scored 462 runs at 57.75 with the help of one century and three half-centuries at an impressive 101.31 strike-rate.
He also collected six wickets with his off-break bowling. In the four-day first-class format (Quaid-e-Azam Trophy), Qasim scored 389 runs in 14 innings with the best of 79 runs at 35.36, his tally of runs included three half-centuries. Qasim also collected his maiden first-class five wicket-haul in his 13-wicket season tally.
In the National T20 Cup, Qasim scored 72 runs in six innings and collected three wickets.
Qasim Akram said: “It is a big honour for me to lead Pakistan U19, the last one year has been a good one for me and I am thankful to the team management and selectors who have reposed their confidence in me. Over the course of the last 12 or so months, I have learned a great deal during the hugely competitive domestic season where I represented Central Punjab.
“My aim would be to guide the team to the best of my ability and to pass on the experiences of my maiden domestic season during the tour as we build towards next year’s ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup in the West Indies where we would aim to better our semi-final performance of last year’s edition in South Africa. This tour will help us identify the players that will form the core of the World Cup side, the tour will also provide a great exposure to the squad against the reigning world champions and will help us in our development for the years ahead.”
Meanwhile, the selectors have trimmed the 20-player squad to a 17-member party. Fast bowler Asim Ali, off-spinner Arham Nawab and batsman Rizwan Mehmood, have failed to make the cut but they will continue to train with the squad till the side’s departure for Dhaka on 17 April.
The pre-tour training camp, which is currently taking place at the Gaddafi Stadium, will move to the National High Performance Centre on 12 April.