Pakistan fast bowler Naseem Shah withdrawn from Under-19 World Cup squad

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to withdraw up-and-coming fast bowler Naseem Shah from the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup squad.

Shah has made a big impact in international cricket, with three Tests and a five-wicket haul already under his belt. With the young quick having already graduated to the next level, sending him to the U19 World Cup in South Africa – which will be held from January 17 to February 9 – seemed like a step back.

PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said: “The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup is a stepping stone for future stars and a platform for budding youngsters to graduate to international cricket. Naseem has recently broken that glass ceiling and has established his credentials as an international cricketer.

“As such, the PCB has taken a pragmatic approach and decided to withdraw him from the competition to provide this opportunity to another promising cricketer so that he can show his mettle and potential at a global stage.

“This should not deter Pakistan’s chances at the U19 World Cup as the selectors have picked a side that is experienced and bubbling with confidence to perform strongly.

“Naseem will now remain in Pakistan and continue to work on his skills under the watchful eyes of bowling coach Waqar Younis. Furthermore, he will remain available for the home series against Bangladesh.”

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Mohammad Wasim jr was named Shah’s replacement. Pakistan are in Group C of the 16-team U19 World Cup and will play Scotland in their opening match on January 19 in Potchefstroom.

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