The National Selection Committee headed by Inzamam-ul-Haq has announced a 15-member Pakistan squad for the ACC U-23 Emerging Cup 2017, that is scheduled to take place from March 26 to April 2 in Bangladesh. The Under-23 team is set to compete against their counterparts from India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh along with the associate nations Afghanistan, Nepal, UAE and Hong Kong.
Pakistan, who had the privilege of picking four players over the stipulated age-limit, have used the opportunity to set the stage for the comeback of one of their brightest all-rounders – Haris Sohail. He has been named as the vice-captain of the side whereas the 24-year-old wicket-keeper batsman Mohammad Rizwan, who has played a sole Test and 25 ODIs for the national side, has been named as the captain.
Pakistan cricket fans will be delighted to see Haris Sohail make a brave comeback after facing a threat of losing his entire career due to a knee injury. The 28-year-old picked the injury during a practice session ahead of the second Test against Sri Lanka in June 2015. It caused a 15-month layoff from cricket for the middle-order batsman. The injury forced him to undergo surgery in Dubai, which was later judged as unsuccessful – thus creating a dark cloud over his playing career.
However, after all the struggle, Sohail made a brilliant all-round return in the second One-Day game between NCA Youth team and the visiting Malaysia’s cricket team, scoring an unbeaten 119 off 112 balls and finishing with bowling figures of 3/13. The upcoming tournament will be a golden chance for him to press his claim for a middle-order spot in the national team.
Pakistan U-23 Team: Imam ul Haq, Jaahid Ali, Imran Butt, Haris Sohail (VC), Khushdil Shah, Hussain Talat, Mohammad Rizwan (C/WK), Bilal Asif, Osama Mir, Zafar Gohar, Sameen Gul, Ahmed Bashir, Ghulam Mudassar, Ammad Butt, Hammad Azam
Team Management: Syed Naushad Ali – Team Manager, Azam Khan – Head Coach, Kamran Khan – Assistant Coach, Javed Hayat – Fielding Coach, Yasir Malik – Trainer, Usman Hashmi – Analyst, Hafiz Naeem – Physio