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Naseem Shah to join Pakistan U-19 squad to prepare for World Cup

The 16-year old pace sensation had a rollercoaster of a tour of Australia.

Naseem Shah
Naseem Shah. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Pakistan will have the services of Naseem Shah in next year’s U19 World Cup in South Africa. The 16-year old pace sensation had a rollercoaster of a tour of Australia with the senior team. Even before he could make his Test debut, he received the devastating news of the passing away of his mother. But the youngster showed remarkable mental strength and decided against returning home.

He then made his much-anticipated Test debut at the Gabba and made an instant impression by troubling the likes of David Warner and Joe Burns with his pace. Later in the match, he dismissed a well-set Warner with a ferocious bouncer. However, Pakistan had surprisingly dropped the pacer from the playing eleven for the second Test in Adelaide.

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Well, Naseem will have a chance to further enhance his reputation when he represents Pakistan in the upcoming U19-World Cup. The 16-team competition will kick off with a match in Kimberley between tournament hosts South Africa and Afghanistan on 17 January. Pakistan, on the other hand, will open their campaign against Scotland on January 19.

Ijaz Ahmed labelled Naseem Shah as his main weapon

Ahead of the competition, Pakistan’s U-19 head coach Ijaz Ahmed has made it clear that he is in no mood to depart for South Africa without Naseem Shah. Ahmed called Naseem his main weapon for the tournament. He further said that he would request senior team coach Misbah-ul-Haq to release Naseem for the competition.

“He is my main weapon and I need him there at the World Cup,” Ahmed told ESPNcricinfo. “He now has a taste of international cricket and now, at the home [Test] series against Sri Lanka, we are mainly banking on spinners. Pakistan have [Mohammad] Abbas and Shaheen [Afridi] to lead the fast-bowling attack according to the conditions.

“I feel he [Shah] for now should only be used in conditions like in New Zealand, England, etc, when needed. For now, we have a very important event coming up in South Africa and he is very handy for me and I will ask Misbah, the chief coach and selector] to release him,” he added.

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