LAHORE             -           Since Aamir Ali was named in the Pakistan squad for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020, the left-arm spinner is aiming to be the highest wicket-taker in the most-important age-group tournament, which will commence in South Africa from 17 January. For Aamir, son of a labourer, the rise to Pakistan junior team is a tale of hard work, determination and resilience and facing up to difficulties. Due to lack of facilities in Dadu, his hometown, the 17-year-old had to practice his art on grounds far away from his home but he never gave up his dreams. He idolises Rangana Herath and learned the art of spin bowling watching him bowl Sri Lanka to famous Test wins. Taking up the sport was never easy for Aamir. His family initially insisted him to become a tailor, like his brother, but soon he started to get the backing of his father to pursue his career in cricket. He started his career in the PCB-Pepsi U16 three-day tournament in which he claimed 19 wickets in the tournament to leave a big mark on his first high profile event.  Aamir truly grabbed attention in 2016 by taking 19 wickets in four games of the PCB-Pepsi U16 two-day tournament.

Aamir said on Thursday: "My father does labour work and my brother does tailoring work. I was initially told by my family to take up tailoring, but after watching me play and realising that it meant everything to me, my father started to back my passion.  "We have scarce playing facilities in my hometown and it is a huge honour for me to represent Pakistan U19.  My aim though is to become the first player from Dadu to represent Pakistan in international cricket."

He was at his brilliant best in this year’s National U19 three-day tournament collecting 28 wickets in four matches at a miserly average of 12.86 runs per wicket. In the one-day version of the National U19 tournament this year, Aamir collected seven wickets in four games. He was Pakistan's most successful bowler on the tour of South Africa earlier last year taking 13 wickets in seven games. In the ACC U19 Asia Cup 2019, Aamir picked four wickets in three games.

Aamir aspires to leave a lasting impression in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup by leading his side to glory. He says it is a stepping stone to the realisation of his ultimate dream of representing Pakistan at the senior level.

PAKISTAN U19 SQUAD: Rohail Nazir (capt & wk), Abbas Afridi, Abdul Wahid Bangalzai, Amir Ali, Amir Khan, Arish Ali Khan, Fahad Munir, Haider Ali (vc), Qasim Akram, M Haris, M Huraira, M Irfan Khan, M Shehzad, M Wasim Jr and Tahir Hussain.”