Pakistan Cup `big opportunity` for young cricketers: Haroon Rasheed

Karachi [Pakistan], Apr 16 : Former chief selector Haroon Rasheed believes Pakistan Cup, the country's domestic 50-over tournament, will provide the aspiring youngsters with a `big opportunity` to showcase their skills and earn a chance to make it to the national team.

The 11-match tournament, which will begin from today, will witness the participation of five teams namely Islamabad, Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P).

The tournament, which will end on April 29 in Rawalpindi, will feature household names such as Shoaib Malik, Imad Wasim, Sohail Khan, Umar Akmal, Salman Butt, Fawad Alam, Umar Gul, Anwar Ali, Mohammad Rizwan and Sohaib Maqsood.

The first match will take place between Balochistan and Punjab, with Rasheed calling on all youngsters to make use of the opportunity to perform well against seniors and more experienced players.

"One-day cricket is not happening so much in Pakistan at the moment. The frequency of the 50-over game should be increased and more players from our national team should participate in it alongside the youngsters.

When the young players play against senior players, they gain more experience and learn a lot," the Express Tribune quoted Rasheed as saying.

Rasheed further said that more one-day cricket at the domestic level would help the players in improving their strike rates, which would eventually help them at the national level.

"Mickey Arthur has been saying that he wants Pakistan to play modern cricket. These tournaments allow all players to perform in home conditions and gain confidence by improving their strike rates, which will eventually help us at the national level.

You have the example of Kamran Akmal and Ahmad Shahzad who performed in the domestic circuit and made their way back into the national squad," he added.

Insisting that Pakistan have been lacking the services of power-hitters who can clear boundaries when required, Rashid believes the tournament is a great way to identify such batsmen.

"Selectors must have made a time table to visit the stadium during the tournament. The first thing that they need to do is identify power-hitters. The national team needs players who can clear the field with ease. The quality of cricket has improved since T20 format gained popularity. Players can now play with strike rates of over 100 in every format. Thus, the need of the hour is to identify batsmen who can do that for Pakistan. We'll need such players in the coming years," Rasheed insisted. Earlier, players like Shadab Khan and Usman Khan Shinwari were identified through the second edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL).

Source: ANI