Pakistan Shaheens captain Qasim Akram aims for medal in 19th Asian Games

LAHORE - Qasim Akram-led Pakistan Sha­heens will depart later tonight for China to feature in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. 

The T20 format will see Paki­stan Shaheens starting their journey from the quarter-final stage, after having directly qualified by virtue of being one of the top four ICC ranked sides in the continent. The quarterfi­nals are scheduled to take place on 3 and 4 October, with Pakistan play­ing their quarter-final on 3 October at Zhejiang University of Technology Ping­feng Cricket Field in Hangzhou. The semi-finals will take place on 6 October, while the final and the bronze medal match are scheduled to take place on Saturday, 7 October. Pakistan Shaheens underwent a five-day camp at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore where players, under the guid­ance of coaches, engaged in training sessions and featured in match scenarios to get ready for the tournament. 

The squad includes 15 play­ers of which seven have already represented Pakistan in inter­national cricket. These include Aamir Jamal (2 T20Is), Arshad Iqbal (1 T20I), Asif Ali (21 ODIs, 55 T20Is), Haider Ali (2 ODIs, 33 T20Is), Khushdil Shah (10 ODIs, 24 T20Is), Shahnawaz Dahani (2 ODIs, 11 T20Is) and Usman Qadir (1 ODI, 23 T20Is) 

Captain Qasim Akram said: “It is an honour for me to lead the side in the Asian Games. The players have performed well in the past, winning the ACC Emerging Asia Cup recently and I am looking forward to the same perfor­mance from the players in the upcoming games. 

“We have a good combination and have undergone rigorous training, preparing for whatev­er challenges spinning wickets may present. So, we are ready for the challenge. “This will be our first tour to China, so we will keep things very simple and aim to win matches for the country. “I will urge the fans to keep supporting the Shaheens side in the Asian Games.” 

PAKISTAN SHAHEENS SQUAD: Qasim Akram (capt), Omair Bin Yousuf (vc), Aamir Jamal, Arafat Minhas, Arshad Iqbal, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Khushdil Shah, Mirza Tahir Baig, Mubasir Khan, Muham­mad Akhlaq (wk), Rohail Nazir (wk), Shahnawaz Dahani, Sufi­yan Muqeem and Usman Qadir.

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