These 5 Under-19 Players Can Become Superstars for Pakistan


Under-19 cricket serves as a springboard for emerging cricketers, providing them the platform to showcase their skills. Either it is the current Pakistan captain, Babar Azam or former skipper, Sarfaraz Ahmad, Under-19 World Cup was the stage where they announced their entry into the world of cricket.

Not diving deep into the history, U-19 Cricket World Cup 2018 introduced a 17-year-old tall fast bowler, stunning the entire cricket fraternity. He is today known as the world’s most lethal pacer, Shaheen Shah Afridi.

With Pakistan ending at the fifth position in U-19 Cricket World Cup 2022, here is list of top five potential stars of the coming years:

1. Qasim Akram

First on the list of upcoming cricketers is the current captain of Pakistan U-19, Qasim Akram. 19-year-old all-rounder led Pakistan in the U-19 Asia Cup and U-19 Cricket World Cup 2022.

The right arm off-spinner was also a part of Pakistan’s squad for the previous World Cup. However, it was in the last match against Sri Lanka when Qasim Akram displayed his absolute class helping Pakistan secure the fifth spot in U-19 World Cup 2022.

Proving himself a true all-rounder, the skipper picked up a five-wicket haul and blazed away an undefeated century off 80 balls. It was for the first time in last 45 years that an all-rounder had achieved the feat in Youth ODIs.

Acknowledging his potential, PCB nominated Qasim Akram among the emerging players of the year 2020. The young star has been signed up by Karachi Kings for the ongoing seventh edition of Pakistan Super League.

2. Zeeshan Zameer

The star of Indo-Pak contest, Zeeshan Zameer is making progress in his career quickly just like his bowling. The right arm pacer is an asset for Pakistan cricket with his sensible approach towards fiery form of bowling.

Shedding light at his U-19 career, the young fast bowler has so far played 8 Youth ODIs. Featuring in recent Asia Cup and World Cup, Zeeshan Zameer has bagged 16 wickets at a decent economy of 4.60. 19-year-old has performed consistently, but he rose to fame with his 5 wickets against archrivals India in the recent Asia Cup.

Soon after his five-wicket haul, Zeeshan Zameer bagged 4 wickets for only 32 runs against Sri Lanka. The rising star ended the Asia Cup campaign with 11 wickets in 3 matches as Pakistan lost to Sri Lanka in the semi-finals.

Emerging pacer also starred in T10 League for Deccan Gladiators. For PSL 2022, Islamabad United have roped in the 19-year-old cricketer and he has already joined the squad.

3. Awais Ali

Awais Ali is another gem from Pakistan’s U-19 bowling attack. The 16-year-old fast bowler from Gujranwala, donning the green jersey in Asia Cup and World Cup, took wickets in almost every contest, against every opposition.

However, his top performance came in the U-19 World Cup 2022, as he destroyed the Zimbabwean batting line-up with a six-wicket haul. With this, he became only third Pakistani bowler to take 6 wickets in an under-19 World Cup match, following Shaheen Shah Afridi and Adil Raza.

ICC included Awais Ali in the Team of the Tournament for the U-19 World Cup, owing to his consistent performance throughout the mega-event.

In 9 Youth ODIs Awais Ali has played, he has taken 21 wickets at an incredible average of 15.04. The 16-year-old has a couple of years left to excel at the junior level of cricket.

4. Haseebullah Khan

Guiding the Pakistan batting line-up is left-handed batsman, Haseebullah Khan. Coming from Pishin, the 17-year-old batter ruled the recent U-19 World Cup with his bat as he averaged 76.

Haseebullah has starred in 9 ODIs, smashing 394 runs at a remarkable average of nearly 50. In his 6 World Cup appearances, he smashed two centuries including 135 runs against Zimbabwe and 136 runs against Sri Lanka. His magnificent century against Sri Lanka helped Pakistan secure the fifth spot in the U-19 World Cup 2022.

Talented left-hander also keeps wickets for Pakistan U-19 and seems promising behind the stumps too. In 9 matches, Haseebullah has got 14 catches and a couple of stumpings. The 17-year-old seems to hold a bright future as he is excelling at his craft day by day.

Seeing his outstanding performance, ICC named Haseebullah in its Team of the Tournament as for U-19 World Cup 2022 as an opener.

5. Faisal Akram

The current U-19 squad features a rare talent in the face of Faisal Akram. 18-year-old is a left-arm wrist-spinner, the type scarcely found. Faisal Akram gained attention when he took 27 wickets in only 10 matches of the National U-19 One Day Cup last year.

Knowing the unique skills possessed by the young star, the selectors called him to bowl in the nets so that the senior batsmen could get used to the bowling style of South African leg-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi. During the practice session, the young spinner deceived the number one ODI batsman Babar Azam to get him out. In the recent domestic season, Faisal Akram caught another big fish, the most in-form batsman, Muhammad Rizwan.

Faisal Akram has trained under legendary spinner Mushtaq Ahmad to polish his skills when the young wrist spinner was signed up by Multan Sultans as an emerging cricketer. Faisal Akram also appeared in the recent U-19 World Cup and he surely is developing as a future star for Team Pakistan.

These are the top five cricketers to watch in the coming years as they hold the potential to shine as the next superstars of world cricket.

Source: Pro Pakistani