HANGZHOU: Qasim Akram-led Pakistan Shaheens will depart on Saturday night for China to feature in the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. The T20 format will see Pakistan Shaheens starting their journey from the quarter-final stage, after having directly qualified by virtue of being one of the top four ICC ranked sides in the continent.
The quarter-finals are scheduled to take place on Oct 3-4, with Pakistan playing their quarter-final on October 3 at Zhejiang University of Technology Pingfeng Cricket Field in Hangzhou. The semi-finals will take place on Oct 6, while the final and the bronze medal match are scheduled to take place on Saturday, (Oct 7).
Pakistan Shaheens underwent a five-day camp at the National Cricket Academy in Lahore where players, under the guidance of coaches, engaged in training sessions and featured in match scenarios to get ready for the tournament.
The squad includes 15 players of which seven have already represented Pakistan in international cricket. These include 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), Shahnawaz Dahani (2 ODIs, 11 T20Is) and Usman Qadir (1 ODI, 23 T20Is).
Captain Qasim Akram said: “It is an honor for me to lead the side in the Asian Games. The players have performed well in the past, winning the ACC Emerging Asia Cup recently and I am looking forward to the same performance from the players in the upcoming games.”
“We have a good combination and have undergone rigorous training, preparing for whatever challenges spinning wickets may present. So, we are ready for the challenge,” he said. “This will be our first tour to China, so we will keep things very simple and aim to win matches for the country,” he told media men.
“I will urge the fans to keep supporting the Shaheens side in the Asian Games,” he added.
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, Mubasir Khan, Muhammad Akhlaq (wk), Rohail Nazir (wk), Shahnawaz Dahani, Sufiyan Muqeem and Usman Qadir.
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). (APP)