LAHORE     -    The High Performance Skill and Training Program for national Under-19 cricketers will commence from 22 July at the National Cricket Academy. A contingent of 17 players – comprising members of the Pakistan side which whitewashed South Africa Under-19 in a seven-match away one-day series – will gather at the NCA by 21 July.

The coaches will analyse the performances of the players in South Africa and will also focus on enhancing the physical skills of the participants with extensive sessions on all three facets of the game.

The six-week program – divided into two parts, either side of the Eid-ul-Azha holidays – will also see the players compete in practice matches. The program is another part of PCB’s efforts of grooming players for forthcoming major events, like the Asia Cup in September and the next year’s ICC U19 Cricket World Cup.

Senior General Manager Academies Ali Zia said: “This is a post-South Africa series camp to break down the team’s performances in all three departments – batting, bowling, and fielding. We will take into the account the report of the team’s coach and our observations. We are looking to eradicate the weaknesses and further polish the strong areas of the players who played in South Africa. “There are still a couple of places to be grabbed in the current Pakistan U19 team and in that regard I will look for players participating in the ongoing U19 Regional Academies and will include them in the forthcoming U19 High Performance skill camp at NCA.

 “To develop players’ defensive technique – which is an integral part of batting in all three formats – we are planning to use the red ball at the nets. We will call up the junior selection committee to gauge the players’ abilities during the training sessions and matches. This will help them in identifying the players for the upcoming Asia Cup.” Commenting on the team’s recent outings, he added: “There were a lot of positives as the team outclassed South Africa in all departments and gave some dominating performances in a country where the next year’s U19 World Cup is to be held.”

 Over the past two series, our boys have been exposed to two different conditions. The conditions in Sri Lanka, where they beat the home-side 3-2 in five one-day matches, are humid and spin-conducive while the South African wickets assist pace and bounce. Our players gave solid performances in both countries.”