Pakistan U19 World Cup Squad Announced, Saad Baig To Captain The Side

Published - 23 Dec 2023, 05:54 PM | Updated - 05 Jun 2024, 05:22 PM

Saad Baig for Pakistan
Saad Baig. Image: X

Young Pakistani talent Saad Baig has been named as the captain of the 15-member ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 squad. The 15th edition of the tournament will be played in South Africa, once again after the year 2020. India are the defending champions of the tournament. Apart from Baig, Ali Asfand has been named as the vice-captain of the team.

Announcing the 15-member squad, Pakistan Men’s Junior Selection Committee chairman, Sohail Tanvir congratulated the U19 squad and believes that they have all the capability to perform well in the upcoming tournament.

Sohail Tanvir said, “I want to congratulate the 15 players who have made it into the squad for South Africa and I am confident that this well-balanced side has the capability and potential to perform well in the World Cup. While picking the team, we have considered the conditions in South Africa where the pitches are conducive to pace bowling and have aimed to cover all bases.”

Mohammad Yousaf to coach Pakistan U19 World Cup 2024 squad

The team will be coached by former Pakistani batsman Mohammad Yousaf, whereas the support staff will have the likes of Shoaib Mohammad (Team Manager), Rehan Riaz (Bowling Coach), Mansoor Amjad (Fielding Coach), Muhammad Masroor (Assistant Batting Coach), Umer Rashid Dar (Assistant Coach), Hafiz Naeem Ul Rasul (Team Physio), Usman Hashmi (Team Analyst) and Imran Ullah (Strength & Conditioning Coach).

Among the 15 members, Ali Asfand and Mohammad Zeeshan were part of the Pakistani team in the 2022 U19 World Cup and this will be their second stint with the young Pakistani team in the upcoming tournament.

Saad Baig, Azhan Awais, and Shahzaib Khan were among the top five run scorers of the Pakistani team in the U19 Asia Cup 2023. Among the bowlers. Awais on one end remained on the second spot of the top run scorers and scored 222 runs from four matches.

On the other Saad Baig and Shahzaib Khan were placed in fourth and fifth place and scored 176 and 168 runs from four matches respectively. Apart from the batsmen, Mohammad Zeeshan was the second-highest wicket-taker of the tournament and picked up 11 wickets from four matches of the U19 Asia Cup.

The members of the squad will start to assemble in Lahore for the training camp which will start from December 28 and end on January 6. The U19 World Cup 2024 will start from January 19, 2024, to February 11, 2024.

Pakistan finished fifth in the 2022 U19 World Cup whereas they were able to qualify for the semi-finals in the 2020 and 2018 editions of the tournament. Pakistan have won the U19 World Cup twice in 2004 and 2006, and they will once again hope to repeat the heroics in the year 2024.

With Saad Baig, having the onus to lead the side, the young right-handed batter showed decent leadership skills in the 2023 Asia Cup whereas the team also has the likes of Ali Asfand and Mohammad Zeeshan, who have the experience of playing in the U19 World Cup.

Pakistan will face their first match of the tournament against Afghanistan on January 20, 2024.

Pakistan U19 World Cup 2024 squad: Saad Baig (captain and wicketkeeper), Ali Asfand (vice-captain), Ali Raza, Ahmad Hassan, Amir Hassan, Arfat Minhas, Azan Awais, Haroon Arshad, Khubaib Khalil, Mohammad Zeeshan, Naveed Ahmed Khan, Shahzaib Khan, Shamyl Hussain, Muhammad Riazullah and Ubaid Shah.