Pakistan on Wednesday withdrew fast-bowler Naseem Shah from its Under-19 World Cup squad, saying the youngster is ready to show his mettle at the senior level. Shah, who made his Test debut recently, has been replaced by Mohammad Wasim Junior from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Naseem was named in the Under-19 squad on the insistence of junior head coach, Ejaz Ahmed but after his impressive show in Australia and in the two-Test series against Sri Lanka at home, head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and bowling coach Waqar Younis felt that he should be withdrawn from the junior squad.
“Naseem has recently broken that glass ceiling and has established his credentials as an international cricketer. As such, the Pakistan Cricket Board (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,” PCB CEO, Wasim Khan said in a statement.
Wasim said the change should not affect Pakistan’s chances at the U19 World Cup, to be held in South Africa from January 17 to February 9.
“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,” Wasim concluded.
Pakistan’s Test series against Bangladesh in January remains in the doldrums as the BCB is insisting on only playing three T20 matches in Pakistan.
Wasim Junior took three wickets each in the ACC Asia Cup and on the tour of South Africa, while he bagged seven wickets on the tour of Sri Lanka.
On the domestic circuit, he played one U19 one-day match in which he bagged three wickets, while he snapped up seven wickets in three U19 three-day matches.
The 2004 and 2006 champions and three-time runners-up Pakistan are placed in Group C of the 16-team event and will play Scotland in their opening match January 19 in Potchefstroom.