ICC U19 Cricket World Cup is a stepping stone for future stars and a platform for budding youngsters to graduate to international cricket
The selection committee under the current head coach-cum-chief selector Misbahul Haq has stopped young fast-bowler Naseem Shah from participating in the Under19 (U19) World Cup. The pacer will not take part in the second round of the U19 training camp.
U19 player Muhammad Wasim Junior has replaced Shah in the squad. Representatives in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have confirmed that the young pacer would not be reporting for the camp. Shah has been instructed to continue training at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) for the upcoming series against Bangladesh.
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. Naseem will now 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,” he added.
U19 head coach Ijaz Ahmed was in favour of playing Shah in the U19 World Cup. He had insisted that the young pacer would be brought on during the knockout stages of the tournament which would not put too much pressure on the young speedster.
The selection committee believes that the tournament could put an extra workload on Shah which could result in fitness issues. Playing him before the series against Bangladesh has been deemed as a risky venture.
The young pacer played an integral role in Pakistan’s Test victory against Sri Lanka at the National Stadium in Karachi by taking five wickets. The U19 World Cup is scheduled to be played from January 17 to February 9 in South Africa.