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Saqlain calls for more A team tours

Former off-spinner advised young players to make their opportunity count

PHOTO: AFP

Former Test cricketer Saqlain Mushtaq has advised young players to make their opportunity count when given chance in the national team.

Saqlain, who played 49 Tests and 169 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for Pakistan between 1995 and 2004, believes more Under-19 and A team tours are the need of the hour for Pakistan cricket.

“The under-19 and A teams must be given foreign tours as to prepare the young players for future,” said Saqlain on his YouTube channel. “When youngsters get a chance in the national team they must come fully prepared and groomed.”

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The 42-year-old cited the example of Australia all-rounder Marcus Labuschagne who seized his chance in the recently-concluded Ashes series.

“Labuschagne was given a chance in the team when Steve Smith was injured and he was prepared in such a way that he didn’t go in the development phase after coming into the senior team,” he said. “We should not feel that the team is going through any build up or development phase because of the inclusion of youngsters.”

Saqlain also advised the Pakistan team management to start their planning for the upcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) tournaments.

“Misbah knows what planning he needs to do for short term and long term basis. He must plan for the next year’s Twenty20 World Cup as well as the next ODI World Cup” he said. “Sarfaraz has been retained as the ODI captain, who is 32 years old right now and will be 36 in the next 4 years. Therefore, Misbah and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) need to develop a plan going forward.”