Pakistan’s veteran allrounder Mohammad Hafeez believes young fast bowler Naseem Shah should not be sent for the U-19 World Cup that will be held in South Africa from January 17 to February 9.
At 16 years and 307 days, Naseem, who grabbed 5/31 in Pakistan’s series-clinching win against Sri Lanka in Karachi, became the youngest fast bowler to claim a fifer.
With that effort, the teenager broke compatriot Mohammad Amir’s record. Amir had made his mark with a five-wicket haul at 17 years 257 days against Australia in Melbourne a decade ago.
However, Hafeez opined that instead of sending Naseem, who already has international exposure, to the under-19 World Cup, the selectors should use the opportunity to send another speedster.
“Humble suggestion 2 Junior selection committee not 2 send Naseem Shah to play under 19 world cup. He already played international cricket & should work hard Technically & Physically to get better at that level. Would be fruitful to use this opportunity to send any other fast bowler,” Hafeez tweeted.
After his record show, Naseem broke down at the post-match conference while talking about his later mother, who passed away last month when he was on tour of Australia.
Apart from Naseem, Pakistan’s four top-order batsmen Shan Masood, Abid Ali, Azhar Ali and Babar Azam all scored centuries which helped Pakistan post a mammoth 555/3 declared in their second innings.
The historic two-match series marked the return of Test cricket to Pakistan and the hosts gave good account of their all-round skills to clinch the series 1-0.