LAHORE: Pakistan have chalked out a comprehensive plan to build a strong team for the under-19 World Cup, scheduled to take place next year in Australia.
As many as five regional academies for under-19 players have already been set up to hunt talented youngsters for the mega event, with 100 cricketers undergoing training after being selected by the national selection committee in consultation with director game development, as well as regional association heads.
Academies have been set up in Abbottabad, Islamabad, Multan, Hyderabad and Karachi. After their training, players will return to their regions to participate in the regional under-19 tournament before being shortlisted for the World Cup based on their performance in the local event.
In addition, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is planning an extensive international calendar for the final World Cup squad prior to the mega event.
Pakistan enjoy a good record at the under-19 World Cup, winning back-to-back events in 2004 and 2006. The team also ended up as the runners-up in the last event that took place in New Zealand in 2010 after losing the final to Australia.
Meanwhile, the draws for the 2012 World Cup have been announced, with Pakistan being placed in Group B along with New Zealand, Scotland and Afghanistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 15th, 2011.
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