Former Pakistan batsman Ijaz Ahmed has been named the new head coach of the U-19 team on a three-year contract.
“I am thankful to the PCB for trusting me with the important responsibility of grooming and nurturing the future stars of Pakistan cricket," Ijaz said after the announcement on Monday (August 26).
"Junior cricket is a lifeline for any cricketing nation as it sees talented youngsters graduate to senior cricket and carry forward the legacy of some of the greatest cricketers this proud nation has produced.
“I am excited with this opportunity and look forward to playing my part in what are exciting times for Pakistan cricket.”
Ijaz played for Pakistan in 60 Tests and 250 ODIS and amassed 9879 runs in a career that lasted for almost 15 years.
He began his coaching career in 2009 and has been head coach of Pakistan A and U19 sides before taking their youth team to the ICC U19 World Cup final in 2010.
He was appointed as the assistant coach of the senior side later that year and was a part of their support staff in the 2010 ICC Twenty20 World Cup.
The 50-year-old was one of five shortlisted candidates, along with Azam Khan, Saqlain Mushtaq, Kabir Khan, Abdul Razzaq and Atiq-uz-Zaman.
“I have seen Ijaz Ahmed develop as one of the most talented coaches," said Mudassar Nazar, director of PCB academies.
"He has a vision and strategy. He is hardworking and has a reputation of being a good student of cricket who can analyse the game and spot talent.
“I have no doubts Ijaz will make a significant contribution as a Pakistan U19 coach as the PCB has stepped up its endeavours to not only narrow the gap with international cricket but provide equal and fair opportunities to all the budding youngsters in the country.”
Ijaz’s role also includes working closely with the Pakistan A and U16 sides. His first assignment will be with the A team, an eight-nation T20 tournament in Kenya next month.
As far as the U19s are concerned, his main focus will be on the U19 World Cup in South Africa next year where Pakistan are one of the eight automatic qualifiers.
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