Qasim Akram named Pakistan U19 captain for Bangladesh’s tour


Lahore: All-rounder Qasim Akram has been appointed Pakistan U19 captain for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced.

Pakistan U19 is scheduled to play a four-day game and five 50-over fixtures in Sylhet and Dhaka. The tour was delayed six days ahead due to lockdown in Bangladesh and the team will now travel on April 17.

The 18-year-old promising all-rounder Qasim was part of the last year’s ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup side. He scored 93 runs at 46.50 and took three wickets at 31.

On the other hand, he played 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 Pakistan Super League (PSL) sixth season as an emerging player.

Read: ‘Just like Haider Ali, Qasim Akram will make his Pakistan debut soon’ U19 coach Ijaz Ahmed

Qasim stand out the most in the Pakistan Cup where in 12 games, he scored 462 runs at 57.75 with the help of one century and three half-centuries at an impressive 101.31 strike-rate. He bagged six wickets too with his off-spin bowling.

In Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, he 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.

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. In the National T20 Cup, Qasim scored 72 runs in six innings and collected three wickets.

Qasim Akram: “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 also announced a 17-member touring 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.

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.

Remember, selectors announced a 20-member squad for the preparations ahead of the Bangladesh tour.

Pakistan U19 team for Bangladesh tour:

Qasim Akram (captain), Abbas Ali, Abdul Faseeh Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Aaliyan Mehmood, Ahmed Khan, Ali Asfand, Fahad Munir, Faisal Akram, Haseebullah (wicketkeeper), Maaz Sadaqat, Mohammad Irfan Niazi, Mohammad Shehzad, Muneeb Wasif, Raza-ul-Mustafa (wicketkeeper), Tahir Hussain and Zeeshan Zameer

Players Support Personnel – Ijaz Ahmed (head coach and team manager), Imranullah (trainer), Rao Iftikhar (bowling coach), Mohtashim Rasheed (fielding coach), Hafiz Naeem (physiotherapist), Col (retd) Safdar Saeed (security manager), Faisal Rai (analyst) and Emmad Ahmed Hameed (media manager).

Tour schedule:

17 April – Departure for Dhaka

23-26 April – Four-day match; SICS, Sylhet

30 April – 1st 50-over match; SICS, Sylhet

2 May – 2nd 50-over match; SICS, Sylhet

4 May – 3rd 50-over match; SICS, Sylhet

7 May – 4th 50-over match; SBNCS, Dhaka

9 May – 5th 50-over match; SBNCS, Dhaka

10 May – Team return to Pakistan

Also read: Lahore-born Qasim Akram targets to become best batsman