Pakistan cricket, despite what people may say about the flaws in domestic structure and grass root level, keeps producing talented young players. Under-19 cricket in Pakistan is especially known to produce some great talents who have gone on to represent the country and it continues to do so.
Today, we will have a look at some of the teenagers representing Pakistan at the Under-19 level who can go on and play for the country at the highest level.
Note that the below-given stats are taken from the recently concluded series to South Africa, where a number of players performed exceptionally.
A number of Pakistani youngsters made a statement on the tour, especially the captain and wicket-keeper batsman, Rohail Nazir, who was the second-highest run-getter in the 7-match series.
- Rohail Nazir
Rohail Nazir is an impressive 17-year-old right-handed top-order batsman who has been impressive ever since he’s been playing for the junior team. He plays for Islamabad region in the domestic circuit and with uncertainty looming large over Sarfaraz Ahmed’s career, he will definitely be pressing hard to get into the team. He captained Pakistan Under-19 to a 7-0 win over South Africa.
- Haider Ali
Haider Ali is an Attock-born opener who has been hailed by the South African coach to be of international class.
The remarks from a professional coach hold great significance and with players like Haider Ali coming up the ranks, the future of Pakistan cricket looks bright. His century against the Proteas brought him to the limelight and he will look to secure his place in the PSL and the national side.
- Haris Khan
Haris Khan is a 17-year-old all-rounder from Charsadda, KPK, who performed the role of a finisher with the bat and a more than handy bowler. His contributions with the bat and ball helped Pakistan clean sweep the series with ease.
The national side is in dire need of someone who can fill in the shoes of Abdul Razzaq. Faheem Ashraf was brought it and dropped and a proper finisher is lacking in the Pakistan team.
- Irfan Niazi
Irfan Niazi’s elegant century against South Africa Under 19 helped his team to an easy win in the 5th Youth ODI. The fact that he made his chances count – he only got to bat in 4 innings – shows that he has what it takes to make himself noticeable among so many other talented individuals.
Below are the top performers from the previous series:
- Aamir Ali
Aamir Ali showed his wicket-taking ability during the South Africa tour as he was among the wickets in 6 out of the 7 matches, and was the leading wicket-taker of the series with 13 wickets. If he continues to impress, he will soon find himself playing in the PSL at least, if not for Pakistan.
- Naseem Shah
The 16-year-old pacer, who emulates Shane Bond’s action, has already represented Quetta Gladiators in PSL and holds a record for being the third-youngest player to pick a five-for in domestic cricket; he did it in only his 2nd first-class match.
- Abbas Afridi
Abbas Afridi was impressive with the ball, taking 10 wickets from 6 innings at a brilliant average of 22.80.
Can he emulate his uncle, Umar Gul and represent Pakistan at the international level? Time will tell.
Who do you think will make their way into the senior side? Let us know in the comments section.