England Under-19s in South Africa 2008-09 December 30, 2008

Yorkshire's Rafiq joins England Under-19s

Cricinfo staff

Azeem Rafiq, the 17-year-old Yorkshire offspinner who was embroiled in a registration row during the summer, has been added to England's Under-19 squad to tour South Africa in January.

Rafiq made his debut for Yorkshire in a crunch Twenty20 match against Nottinghamshire last season but was subsequently found to be ineligible to play first-class cricket in England. The club were excluded from the Twenty20 Cup and fined £1000. To compound the confusion, Rafiq, who was born in Pakistan and does not turn 18 until February, was a former England Under-15 captain and now has his chance to begin his cricket career in earnest.

"Azeem is a talented cricketer who has already shown great potential," said John Abrahams, the England Under-19 manager. "We're delighted he's now eligible to join the England Under-19 squad and believe the experience of touring in South Africa will help him continue his development as a cricketer."

England's strong-looking line-up take on South Africa Under-19s for five ODIs, a Twenty20 and one Test. The first one-dayer begins on January 13.

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