Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has denied rumours that pace bowler Naseem Shah was withdrawn from the upcoming Under-19 World Cup due to concerns over his actual age.
The PCB made it abundantly clear that the reason the 16-year-old seamer will not feature in the tournament is strictly down to “cricketing reasons”.
Naseem recently featured in the two-Test series against Sri Lanka and finished with seven wickets at an average of 27.71.
He made history in the second Test in Karachi as he became the youngest pace bowler to take a five-for in Test cricket.
“The Pakistan Cricket Board rejects the impression in a section of the media which suggests that fast-bowler Naseem Shah had been withdrawn from the Pakistan U19 squad for next month’s ICC U19 Cricket World Cup due to concerns over his actual age,” a statement by the board said.
“The PCB, as part of its standard operating procedures, had rechecked and verified ages of all potential members of the Pakistan U19 side in November before selecting the squad on 6 December 2019 subsequent to which Naseem was named in the side after he met the ICC age eligibility criteria for the tournament, which was set at 1 September 2000.
“The PCB, as stated in its announcement on 31 December, had clarified that Naseem had been withdrawn from the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup on the request of the Pakistan men’s senior team management purely on cricketing reasons.
“In this background, the PCB is disappointed that an attempt has been made to tarnish the credibility and reputation of an emerging fast-bowler with a bright future ahead.”
The Under-19 World Cup, which will be held in South Africa, will begin on January 17.