Azeem Ghumman aims to break into national team
Azeem Ghumman, who will lead Pakistan A in Sri Lanka later this month, has said the tour is an excellent opportunity for him to make a mark and target selection into the national team. Ghumman, who has an impressive first-class record with an average of 48.79 in 17 games, also captained Pakistan in the Under-19 World Cup earlier in the year in New Zealand where they were beaten by Australia in the final.
"I have played ample first-class cricket and this tour to Sri Lanka with the A team provides a key opportunity to assert that I have the potential to play top level cricket even at a young age," Ghumman told The Express Tribune. "The board has shown a lot of confidence in me. It is a privilege to lead the team and I look forward to the challenge. Players like Aamir Sajjad, Khurram Manzoor and others have played twice as much as I have. But I am delighted that all of them have supported me and I am looking forward to their continued guidance."
The current Pakistan squad for the tour of England includes several youngsters, like Umar Amin and Azhar Ali, who had their first taste of international cricket there. Though their performances overall have been mixed so far, Ghumman believed the younger players needed more exposure at that level and more opportunities to perform.
"The PCB's move to induct young players for the England tour was a positive one but they need time to perform. Players can't be judged after just three or four chances," Ghumman said.
Pakistan A begin their tour with a tri-series also involving South Africa before playing two four-day games against Sri Lanka A.
"I know it would be a tough challenge because Sri Lanka has the home advantage while South Africa is one of the best sides. But we also have a tough side."