Rahul Dravid praised Shaheen Afridi, reveals Nadeem Khan

17-year-old pacer only Pakistani to be named in U19 World Cup team of the year

Nabil Tahir February 04, 2018

KARACHI: The International Cricket Council announced on Sunday the Team of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup and Pakistan left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi was named in the side for his 12 wickets in the tournament.

The 17-year-old Afridi was the only Pakistani in the side that features six nationalities and is already being tipped to have a long and successful career .

South Africa’s van Tonder was named the captain of the side, while five members of the triumphant Indian team make it into the eleven.

Team manager Nadeem Khan revealed Shaheen impressed all onlookers with his performances.

“Shaheen has been outstanding in the tournament and he has helped Pakistan claim crucial wins before that too,” said Nadeem Khan, while talking to The Express Tribune. “Many legends of the game and team managers came to me during the tournament to applaud Shaheen’s skills,” he said. “Even [Indian coach] Rahul Dravid came to me after the match and said Shaheen has all it takes to be a future star and become a real asset to the national side.”

Nadeem, however, feels Shaheen needs a bit more experience before he can be considered for the national team.

“He is a brilliant bowler with a lot of variations and that has impressed almost everyone who has watched him bowl,” added Nadeem. “It’s incredibly encouraging to see the praise he has received and to see him included in the team of the tournament.”

Really happy to be in team of the tournament, says Shaheen

Shaheen expressed his delight at being selected for the team of the tournament and believes it is reward for all the hard work that he has put in.

“Being named in the U19 World Cup’s team of the tournament is a great achievement,” he said. “I have always worked hard to make a mark. When I got to know about my selection, I was really happy. It felt like being selected for the national side.”

Shaheen, however, said the happiness would have been many folds more had Pakistan managed to reach the final of the tournament.

“This is a dream come true,” he said. “I tried to help Pakistan reach the World Cup final but we couldn’t take our chances. However, I am happy to be representing Pakistan in the team of the tournament.

The young pacer vowed there is a lot more to come from him in the future and is confident of one day wearing the senior team colours. “My parents always dreamed of me making Pakistan proud and today I have achieved that,” he said.

Shaheen was quick to credit his coaches and teammates as well, stating that all of them can take pride in his selection.

“This is not my success alone,” he said. “It was the effort of the entire team that made me achieve this. The coaches and manager gave me the confidence that I needed throughout the tournament. Hopefully I can kick on from this and play even better in upcoming assignments.”

Team of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2018 (in batting order):

Prithvi Shaw (India) –261 runs

Manjot Kalra (India) – 252 runs

Shubman Gill (India) – 372 runs

Finn Allen (New Zealand) – 338 runs

Raynard van Tonder (South Africa, captain) – 348 runs

Wandile Makwetu (wicket-keeper) (South Africa) – 184 runs and 11 dismissals (all catches)

Anukul Roy (India) – 14 wickets

Kamlesh Nagarkoti (India)– 9 wickets

Gerald Coetzee (South Africa) – 8 wickets

Qais Ahmad (Afghanistan) – 14 wickets

Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan) – 12 wickets