PAK vs NZ: PCB adds Arafat, two others to Test squad against New Zealand
Three young teenagers from Pakistan Junior League (PJL) – all-rounder Arafat Minhas, top-order batter Basit Ali and right-arm fast bowler Mohammad Zeeshan have been included in Pakistan’s squad for the ongoing home Test series against New Zealand.
Basit also featured in the U19 series against Bangladesh in Multan in November. His team-mate Zeeshan (Faisalabad) at PJL, was declared the best bowler of the tournament with 14 wickets.
Shahid Afridi, the newly appointed chair of the men’s interim selection committee, stated that the management is looking towards the future with the addtion of the three players.
“We are not only looking at the present but also have an eye on the future. In this relation, we have added three top-performers from our age-group cricket so that they can spend time with their stars in the national side and learn how to plan and prepare for high pressure matches.
Although the three players will not be available for selection, this initiative will fast track their progress and provide them better awareness, understanding and knowledge about the rigours and demands of top-grade cricket,” said Shahid Afridi.
Arafat was adjudged the best all-rounder of the inaugural season of the PJL as he amassed 178 runs and took nine wickets for Gwadar Sharks. Meanwhile, Bahawalpur Royals’ Basit Ali was announced as the best batter of the league after finishing as the top-scorer with 379 runs. Basit’s teammate, Mohammad Zeeshan was deemed the best bowler of the tournament with 14 wickets.
Three high-performing teenagers — Arafat Minhas, Basit Ali and Mohammad Zeeshan — have been added to the national Test squad for the ongoing two-match series against New Zealand, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said on Thursday.
As part of its strategy and vision to develop, grow and incentivise high-performing talented youngsters, the Men’s Interim Selection Committee have added three top-performers from age-group cricket to the Pakistan Test squad with the objective of providing them international exposure and experience.
All-rounder Arafat belongs to Multan, top-order batter Basit hails from Dera Murad Jamali, while right-arm fast bowler Mohammad Zeeshan is from Faisalabad.
The two young batters are the top run scorers of the ongoing Pakistan Cup. Haseebullah has scored 504 runs in 10 innings at an average of 50.40 for Balochistan and Ayub has scored 461 runs in 10 innings for Sindh. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Ihsanullah has 24 wickets in 10 games. The three young men had good outcomes in the recently concluded Quaid e Azam trophy too.
Shahid Afridi, Chair of Men’s Interim Selection Committee, said: “We are not only looking at present but also have an eye on the future. In this relation, we have added three top-performers from our age-group cricket so that they can spend time with their stars in the national side and learn how to plan and prepare for high pressure matches.