Pakistan news August 2, 2013

Hammad to lead Pakistan U-23 in Emerging Teams Cup


Hammad Azam, the Pakistan allrounder, has been named captain of the Under-23 side for the Asian Cricket Council Emerging Teams Cup to be held in Singapore from August 15 to 26. He will lead a 15-man squad that includes batsman Babar Azam, fast bowler Ehsan Adil and Raza Hasan, who has recovered from the spine injury he suffered last year.

The announcement has been a long time coming due to the uncertainty in the PCB after the Islamabad High Court overruled all major decisions taken by interim chairman Najam Sethi and ordered for fresh elections to take place. The PCB, however, after consultation with the Attorney General of Pakistan, named the squad chosen by the three contracted selectors - Azhar Khan, Saleem Jaffar and Farrukh Zaman.

Azam's seniority made him the best choice for captain. The 22 year-old made his first-class debut in 2008 and made his international debut during the tour of the West Indies in 2011. He has played 8 ODIs and five Twenty20s so far and was also a part of the Pakistan T20 squad for the recent bilateral series in the West Indies.

Hasan, who last represented Pakistan in the 2012 World T20 in Sri Lanka, suffered a disc injury during a domestic T20 game in December 2012, but returned to competitive cricket in March this year. He debuted against Australia last September and has played six T20s since, taking six wickets at 25.66. Fast bowler Adil and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, who are national contenders, have also been named in the emerging team, along with legspinner Usman Qadir.

Pakistan are placed in Group A along with India U-23s, Afghanistan and Nepal. Pakistan begin their campaign against India on August 18 at Kallang Cricket Ground in Singapore. Group B features Under-23 sides from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, along with UAE's senior team and Singapore.

Pakistan U-23 squad: Hammad Azam (capt), Umar Waheed, Babar Azam, Ehsan Adil, Raza Hasan, Umer Siddique, Usman Qadir, Usman Salahuddin, Muhammad Waqas, Bilawal Bhatti, Ruman Rais, Azeem Ghumman, Muhammad Rizwan (wk), Nasir Malik, Muhammad Nawaz

Reserve Players: Taimoor Ali, Mir Hamza, Jamal Anwar, Shahzaib Ahmed Khan, Zeeshan Ali Ashraf

Team management: Aftab Baloch (manager), Mansoor Rana (coach), Usman Ghani (Physiotherapist), Ibrar Ahmed (Trainer)

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Avais on August 8, 2013, 3:49 GMT

    So forget about QA trophy, Patrons trophy and other nation tournament, Ramadan trophy which is nothing more than a street level tournament is the gold standard now to get a call to the nation side, really ? Hammad Azam is our new Imran Farhat in making now.

  • Dummy4 on August 6, 2013, 21:44 GMT

    You know that recent Pepsi Ramadan tournament? Well Hammad Azam was probably the best batsman on that team. he had an average of 60. Plus he has a better bowling average than Mohammad Irfan in domestic cricket. He would have probably been picked for the Zimbabwe tour but he was unavailable because of this tournament. I am sure he will do well here. Good challenge for this him and I believe he will do well.

    I agree Mustafa: he can play simple cricket well and just rotate the strike. he just needs to learn to pick his spots when he can go aggressive.

  • Avais on August 6, 2013, 9:41 GMT

    After his performance in under1-19 work cup more than three years ago,which made him famous, Hammad Azam has done nothing to prove he belongs to International or even first class level. In five first class seasons since his debut in 2008, he has score about 1200 runs ( about 250/year) has taken 56 wickets ( about 11 /year) only 7 fifities ( about one /season ) and has not taken more than a single wicket/inning in his last full season with National Bank. He was my favorite too but now I'm convinced he should be discarded. If has not proved himself after 5 seasons, he is not our next Razzaq or Azhar Mahmood.

  • Dummy4 on August 6, 2013, 8:31 GMT

    Hammad is a very good Player with brilliant temperament and technically very complete batsmen. He is also a very good medium fast bowler. I can see some people commenting about him without even knowing him.

    I am sure he can show his presence if he get to bat above Afridi and get to bowl few overs. I can see him as next Azhar and Razzaq.

  • Dummy4 on August 5, 2013, 22:17 GMT

    very nice for Hammad Azam. How is this kid an overrated player? he has improved his batting and his bowling is also starting to come along now. He needs time but I am sure he will be really good. Hammad gets a lot of criticism here which I don't understand why.

  • Avais on August 4, 2013, 22:03 GMT

    Unbelievable, Hammad Azam has not performed to deserve a place in the side and he is now captain. He is neither a bowler, nor a batsman. Can someone tell me how did he perform in domestic cricket to deserve this. How many runs he has scored and taken wickets, simply a way too overrated bits and pieces player.

  • shazam on August 4, 2013, 17:32 GMT

    well hammad azam is a very good all rounder, i dont konw why pakistan management has not given him a full chance in ODIs, he deserves a chance and he will prove that he is pakistan´s michael hussy and michael bevan.

  • Abdul on August 4, 2013, 8:35 GMT

    A good opportunity for Hammad to show his talent, so far he has failed to deliver.

  • Dummy4 on August 3, 2013, 8:45 GMT

    so all these youngsters may miss the ZIM tour and couldn't get any chance there.

  • Yasir on August 2, 2013, 21:15 GMT

    So it will be Umar Akmal keeping the wickets in Zimbabwe? Not sure if thats the right move. We need a specialist wicket keeper. Rizwan should've been included in the team touring Zimbabwe.

  • No featured comments at the moment.