LAHORE         -     The National U19 three-day and 50-over tournaments will commence from today (Tuesday) and Saturday (5 October), respectively, with all the budding youngsters aiming to strengthening their claims for call-ups for the Pakistan U19 squad for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup South Africa 2020.  The six city association sides will feature in the three-day matches, while the 50-over fixtures will be played after a day’s gap. Both the events will be held on a single-league basis with the one-day final to be played on 6 November and the three-day tournament final, to be played over four days, to be held from 9-12 Novembers, said a spokesman of the Pakistan Cricket Board here.  The matches will be spread over seven venues of six cities including Dring Stadium, Bahawalpur; Jinnah Stadium, Sialkot; KRL Stadium, Rawalpindi; LRCA Ittefaq Ground, Lahore; Muzaffarabad Stadium, Muzaffarabad; Naya Nazimabad Ground, Karachi; R Naveed Academy, Sheikhupura; and State Bank Stadium, Karachi. “The six sides have been selected by the national junior selection committee following a series of trials in which players selected for 18 regional sides, as per the previous constitution, took part,” he said.  He added that these young players will also be taking inspiration from the fact that a big number of star Pakistan cricketers, who have stamped their mark on the global stage, have emerged from the National U19 competitions. “Some of the prominent names include Abdul Razzaq, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Imad Wasim, Imam-ul-Haq, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Sarfraz Ahmed, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, Wahab Riaz,” he said. 

Meanwhile PCB Director Domestic Cricket Operations Haroon Rashid said: “One of the objectives of the new domestic structure is to enhance the quality of youth cricket so these players are well-nurtured and understand the nitty gritties of the game before they climb up the rung.

“These tournaments will see the best U19 cricketers feature in them. The six squads are jotted down after undertaking an extensive trials process. The months of October and November provide a great opportunity to the U19 players to prove their mettle and to the coaches and selectors to identify key players ahead of the next year’s U19 World Cup.”