LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board on Thursday, announced Pakistan Shaheens’ squad for the 19th Asian Games, set to take place in Hangzhou, China, from 28 September to 7 October.
Young all-rounder Qasim Akram will lead Pakistan Shaheens in the tournament, to be played in T20 format.
20-year-old Qasim, has till date featured in 20 first-class matches and 40 T20 matches and also captained Pakistan U19 in the ICC U19 World Cup in 2022. In the 15-member squad, there are eight players who have already represented the Pakistan men’s team at the international level.
The players who have represented Pakistan at the international level are 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), Mohammad Hasnain (9 ODIs, 27 T20Is), Shahnawaz Dahani (2 ODIs, 11 T20Is) and Usman Qadir (1 ODI, 23 T20Is).
Also, eight players in the 15-member squad, Aamir Jamal, Arafat Minhas, Arshad Iqbal, Omair Bin Yousuf, Qasim Akram, Rohail Nazir, Shahnawaz Dahani and Sufiyan Muqeem have been associated with the Shaheens side recently. Since May 2023, Pakistan Shaheens have toured Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka and Australia.
In Zimbabwe, Shaheens whitewashed Zimbabwe A in the two four-dayers, but lost 4-2 in the 50-over matches to Zimbabwe Select. Shaheens later won the ACC Men’s Emerging Asia Cup in Sri Lanka in July, beating India A by 108 runs in the final. However, they finished as runners-up in the six-team Top End T20 Series in Darwin, Australia earlier this month.
As per the tournament’s rule, Shaheens will feature in the event from the quarter-finals stage scheduled to take place on 3 and 4 October. The semi-finals will be played on 6 October, while the final will take place on 7 October. The match for Bronze medal will also take place on Saturday, 7 October.
Pakistan men’s team won a bronze medal in their maiden and only appearance in the Asian Games held in Guangzhou, China, in 2010.
Pakistan Shaheens squad:
Qasim Akram (captain), Omair Bin Yousuf (vice-captain), Aamir Jamal, Arafat Minhas, Arshad Iqbal, Asif Ali, Haider Ali, Khushdil Shah, Mirza Tahir Baig, Mohammad Hasnain, Muhammad Akhlaq (wk), Rohail Nazir, Shahnawaz Dahani, Sufiyan Muqeem and Usman Qadir
Non-travelling reserves – Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Mehran Mumtaz, Mohammad Imran Jnr, Muhammad Irfan Khan Niazi and Mubasir Khan
Player Support Personnel – Shahid Aslam (head coach-cum-manager), Umar Rasheed (bowling coach), Hanif Malik (batting and fielding coach) and Hafiz Naeem ul Rasool (physiotherapist)