Pakistan vice-captain Umar Waheed believes any one of five teams could win the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup that takes place in Australia next month.
The right-hander, who enjoyed an excellent U19 Asia Cup in Malaysia recently, believes it is difficult to pick a stand-out team for the upcoming tournament with so many strong line-ups around.
"I think that the five teams who stand a very good chance of winning the Under-19 World Cup are Pakistan, India, Australia, South Africa and England," Waheed told PakPassion.net. "All five teams possess good cricketers, players with ability and all the aforementioned teams on their day can defeat each other. One key factor will be how the wickets play in Australia. I expect the tracks to be bouncy, but if they are that's fine, we did well on such tracks in South Africa last year. It's going to be a very exciting tournament and I'm sure the standard of cricket will be very high. It's a great opportunity for up and coming young cricketers around the world to show their talent to a huge audience."
Waheed struck 222 runs in five innings @ 74 during the U19 Asia Cup, including 48 in a thrilling final with India that ended in a tie, meaning the title was shared.
"Overall the Asia Cup was an exciting and very enjoyable experience," said Waheed. "I personally did well and was satisfied with my efforts and collectively the squad did well in Malaysia. I felt I performed when the team needed me to.
"We went to Malaysia in the hope that we would come back with the Under-19 Asia Cup and in the end had to settle as joint winners. The tournament presented us with valuable experience ahead of the World Cup in Australia and I'm sure all of the squad will utilise that experience in Australia."
Pakistan will acclimatise to Australia ahead of the World Cup with three matches against the hosts followed by two more warm-ups against England and Papua New Guinea ahead of their opening tournament match with Afghanistan on August 11.