LAHORE – Pakistan U-19 team players have ability to win the Asia Cup as they worked hard in the camp of roaring to deliver for Pakistan, said coach Sabih Azhar prior to departure to Malaysia for participating in the inaugural Asia Cup.
The Asia Cup is expected to be a tough tournament. The four major nations – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have historically had very good U-19 teams. As a team Pakistan are vary of the challenge and obviously aware that the senior team has just recently returned as Asia Cup champions and they are working hard to ensure that this team also matches that feat with the Junior Asia Cup,” maintained Sabih.
Sabih Azhar during a formal chat with this scribe expressed his satisfaction with the hard work being put in by his youngsters and spoke about his high hopes for success in the Asia Cup in Malaysia as well as the Under 19 World Cup in Australia.
“The players worked hard during the recently-held training camp at the National Cricket Academy here. Players worked on their fitness, bowling, batting and fielding under the watchful eyes of their experienced Head Coach, Sabih Azhar.
Sabih said: ”It’s a successful camp and we have some youngsters who have been selected for the Asia Cup and the way the guys have been playing, I am confident that we will perform well,” Sabih added.
“It has been a much disciplined team effort. We have a trainer, a doctor and our own analyst. NCA has also given us a fielding coach who is helping with the fielding. The Manager, Haroon Rasheed also helped the boys lot to remove their weaknesses. As a combined effort, we are all trying to create a healthy team environment. We are basing our training on the one day game and also to try and play in similar situations to those we will encounter in Malaysia during the Asia Cup,” claimed Sabih.
He said that Pakistan has a very balanced team especially in the fast bowling department having very strong as we have four fast bowlers in our team and he feels all four are frontline bowlers in that you can play any of them and they will perform. The four - Zia Ul Haq, Ehsan Adil, Mir Hamza, Azizullah are very good bowlers with variety. Two are left arm fast bowlers and two are right arm fast bowlers. Among these, Ehsan Adil is not only a good bowler but also a handy hitter with the bat.
“At the U-19 level, Pakistan has always performed well, especially in the World Cup competitions. It has been a very successful and a frequent source of supply of exciting talent for our national team. Even in this team, we have 5-6 Players who can play for the national side in a couple of years”, claimed Sabih
Sabih said that he is also confident in upcoming ICC U-19 World Cup this year is being held in Australia as Pakistan have won this title twice and we can do well again.
Obviously the conditions in Australia are tough especially for our young batsmen or those from other parts of the world. To prepare for these conditions, we are training hard on bouncy tracks with the facilities that we have. I sincerely believe that we have the talent and I am confident that we will perform well,” he said.
SQUAD: Babar Azam (Capt), Sami Aslam, Imam ul Haq, Umar Waheed, Azizullah, Mir Hamza, Ehsan Adil, Salman Afridi (WK), M Nawaz, Syed Faraz Ali, Akhtar Waheed Kiyani, M Zia ul Haq, Shahid Ilyas, Shahid Qadir, Syed Saad Ali and Jaahid Shoukat Ali.