LAHORE: Rohail Nazir, who scored a century on his first-class debut this season, has been appointed as Pakistan U19 captain for next month’s series against Sri Lanka, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced Tuesday.
Wicketkeeper/batsman Rohail scored 130 and four for Islamabad against Habib Bank Limited in the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy in September. He played three more first-class matches in his debut season and finished with 300 runs besides dismissing 13 batsmen behind the wickets.
Rohail was Hassan Khan’s vice-captain in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2018 in New Zealand where Pakistan finished third after their third-fourth place play-off against Afghanistan was abandoned without a ball being bowled. Rohail finished the tournament with 140 runs and 14 dismissals, and later went on to captain Pakistan U19 in the ACC U19 Asia Cup in September/October 2018.
Mohammad Taha, who was also part of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2018 squad, has been appointed as vice-captain. Taha, a left-handed top-order batsman, scored 54 runs in five matches in New Zealand and is yet to make his first-class debut.
Faisalabad’s wrist spinner Suleman Shafqat is the other member from the World Cup squad to retain a place in the Sri Lanka touring party. He took three wickets in New Zealand.
Apart from Rohail, the only other first-class cricketer in the 15-player squad is FATA’s fast bowler Abbas Afridi, who has played two matches and taken four wickets.
Saim Ayub is the other notable cricketer to find a place in the side. The left-hander had previously captained Pakistan U16 on the tour to Australia in April 2018 and was also part of the side that featured in the ACC U19 Asia Cup last year in Bangladesh.
Keeping in mind the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 in South Africa, the junior selection committee headed by Basit Ali has selected players who were born on or after 1 September 2000 so that they remain eligible for next year’s global event to be played from 17 January to 9 February 2020.
Pakistan U19 will play two four-day matches against Sri Lanka U19 in Galle (3-6 May) and Hambantota (9-12 May), before taking on Sri Lanka U19 in three 50-over matches in Hambantota (15 and 17 May) and Galle (20 May).—NNI