Pakistan team’s coach Ijaz Ahmed is confident that his boys will play competitive cricket in the upcoming ICC U19 Cricket World Cup, scheduled from January 17 to February 9.
While talking to the media on the sidelines of a training camp in Lahore ahead of the mega event, Ijaz told the reporters that the preparations are in full swing. “We have been training for the last 25 days. The training camp has entered the last phase where boys will be trained according to South African conditions. We have scheduled four matches on pitches especially made similar to those in South Africa,” Ijaz said.
Talking about competition in their Group C which contains Bangladesh, Scotland, and Zimbabwe, Ijaz said that the contest is tough as it is World Cup and they can’t take anyone lightly. “We will plan game by game. Its World Cup and we are supposed to not take any team lightly,” he maintained.
To a query about losing young pacer Naseem Shah at the very last moment, Ijaz thinks that Shah should play for Pakistan. “He is a very talented bowler and he should be progressed strength by strength. Shah should play for Pakistan with an aim to play for a longer period of time,” he said.
On the other hand, Ijaz suggested the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) stage at least a three-month-long camp for newcomers at U19 and emerging level. “I think there is a need to stage a training camp for young cricketers to make them strong for the bench,” he concluded.