Pakistan’s 16-year-old pace sensation Naseem Shah is likely to be replaced in the national squad for the ICC U-19 World Cup after he was called up for the home Test series against Sri Lanka, on Sunday.
A reliable source in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said since the requirements of the senior team were more important, it was decided to play Naseem in the Test matches against Sri Lanka this month and then against Bangladesh in January.
“Two reserve pacers have already been named in the camp and if Naseem is required for national duty he will be replaced as he can’t play for both the senior and junior teams,” the source said.
Naseem was last week named in Pakistan’s 15-member squad for the U-19 World Cup in South Africa after the national junior head coach Ejaz Ahmed specifically requested for the teenager.
But on Sunday, the senior national team’s head coach-cum-chief selector Misbah-ul-Haq named Naseem in a 16-member squad that will play against Sri Lanka in two Tests this month in Rawalpindi and Karachi. The ICC U-19 World Cup will clash with the Pakistan vs Bangladesh two-match Test series and three T20 International contest in January.
Pakistan’s bowling coach Waqar Younis and Misbah have faced criticism for talking about workload management for the fast bowlers but at the same time allowing Naseem to be picked in the national under-19 squad.
Naseem made his Test debut against Australia in Brisbane last month after much hype and bowled 20 overs. He did not feature in the second Test in Adelaide, a day/night affair as Waqar talked about how best to manage the younger fast bowlers.