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‘Ridiculous to involve Naseem Shah in Under-19 cricket’

Pakistan rookie pacer made his Test debut in recently concluded series against Australia

PHOTO COURTESY: Cricket Australia

Former Pakistan pacer Tanvir Ahmed has lashed out at the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)’s decision to allow Naseem Shah to participate in Under-19 cricket, ahead of next year’s World Cup in South Africa.

The 16-year-old made his Test debut in the first Test against Australia in Brisbane, during the recently concluded two-match series Down Under.  

“It is a ridiculous decision to involve Naseem Shah in Under-19 cricket because I find it very strange. When you have made him play international cricket for Pakistan, it does not make sense to send him back to lower-tier cricket,” said Tanvir.

He also stressed the importance of sending Naseem to the National Cricket Academy inorder to improve his skill set and fitness standards.  

“As we saw during the Australia series, he seemed to have some fitness issues which is why it was important to send him back to the National Cricket Academy and work it. He could have also worked on improving his skill set with the coaches there as well,” he said.

“I think PCB will never start taking the right decisions, atleast not in my lifetime. I don’t know why they take steps which can only be termed as a joke,” he added.  

The PCB had invited 28 U19 cricketers, including Naseem, for a six-week High Performance Skill and Training Programme at the National Cricket Academy (NCA), Lahore.

The programme, which commenced on Monday, November 25, is designed to enhance the fitness and cricketing skills of the players ahead of the next year’s mega event.

The players who are busy in international and domestic matches will join the camp later, the PCB had said in a press release.