LAHORE - Pakistan cricket team Thursday sent best felicitated the National Under-19 cricket team for their victory against Afghanistan in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup and also sent best wishes for next matches.

According to press release issued by Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Thursday, Pakistan U-19’s made an emphatic winning start, routing Afghanistan for a paltry 126 and then coasting to the target for the loss of four wickets with nearly 19 overs to spare, every member of national cricket team in New Zealand was jubilant, rooting for them to go all the way to the victory podium. Pakistan has won the prestigious global event twice (2004, 2006) and has remained runner-up three times (1988, 2010 and 2014).

In a message to U-19 squad’s manager Zakir Khan and captain Gauhar Hafeez, manager Intikhab Alam felicitated them on the victory. “The manner in which Afghanistan was vanquished reflects not just talent and skill but hunger to do well at world stage in our U-19 boys. This is a good omen. I am positive that they would go places,” said Intikhab.

Team Pakistan’s head coach Waqar Younis said: “Our youngsters immediately prior to the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2016 had beaten two quality outfits, Australia and New Zealand, to the tri-nation title in the UAE. This demonstrates abundance of talent in our squad. “With first hurdle having been surmounted, I wish them all the power for the remainder of the event. My advice to the boys would be: never abandon self-belief and while taking pride and pleasure in your performances, always keep on surpassing them.

Owing to the ICC giving it utmost importance, this event has become huge at world stage in age-group cricket. There are examples galore of those who have done well at this platform and have gone on to win national colour and international laurels. May the squad do well and may we see many a future star emerge from it,” he added.

Skipper Azhar Ali, a veteran now, has featured in the ICC U-19 World Cup in 2002 as a leg-spinner, in a message to U-19 captain Gauhar Hafeez said: “Congratulations from me and Pakistan team on starting the event with a credible win. Enjoy, stay positive and inspire your charges by recounting to them that those who came before them had won the trophy in 2004 and 2006, with three other final appearances. There is no reason they cannot follow in their footsteps.”