ICL: Indian Cricket League

Greenhorns to be inducted in pool for Pentangular Cup


Buoyed by what they term as an encouraging performance from young debutants in the recently-concluded One-day International series against Zimbabwe, Pakistan’s cricket bosses have decided to field 20 greenhorns in this month’s Pentangular Cup.

A top Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official told ‘The News’ on Monday that the national selectors have submitted a list of 100 players including 20 freshmen for induction in five competing teams.

Initially, the PCB was planning to pick the top 75 players of the country, who were to be equally distributed to the five teams but now it has decided to broaden the pool. “We have decided to include 20 youngsters in the pool of players for the Pentangular Cup in a bid to give them experience and exposure. We believe that they would learn a lot while playing alongside senior players,” said Shafqat Naghmi, PCB’s Chief Operating Officer.

Naghmi said that now each of the competing squad will be formed by 20 players and out of them five would be juniors. He said that the idea of inducting rookies in the competing teams came from the PCB chairman Nasim Ashraf.

“The chairman believes that our youngsters have a lot of potential and should be given maximum opportunities to show their skills at the national and international level,” he said. Pakistan fielded eight newcomers in the ODI series against Zimbabwe which the hosts won 5-0. Some of the debutants including openers Nasir Jamshed and Khurram Manzoor, all-rounder Kamran Hussain and left-arm medium pacer Wahab Riaz gave impressive performances in the series.

These youngsters along with a host of others would join the stalwarts of Pakistan cricket including skipper Shoaib Malik, premier batsmen Mohammad Yousuf and Younis Khan, all-rounder Shahid Afridi and pacers Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul in the Pentangular Cup.

The PCB is planning to launch this year’s Pentangular Cup in a big way. “We will have a media conference on Wednesday (February 6) to announce the details of the tournament,” said Naghmi.

Four of the tournament’s matches would be played in Karachi while the other games would be hosted by Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta. The Karachi games would be telecasted live.

The Pentangular Cup is a very important event for the leading cricketers as it would help them warm up for a potentially-explosive home series against world champions Australia in March-April.

For the likes of Shoaib Akhtar, Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul, the event is even more important considering the fact that their selection in Pakistan’s squad for the series against Australia would base on their performance in the Pentangular Cup. The trio has to convince national selectors and PCB officials about their fitness by giving solid performances in the tournament.

Source:Cricket News

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