Former Pakistan batsman Ijaz Ahmed has been appointed the head coach of their under-19 team on a three-year term.
Ijaz, who began his coaching career in 2009, 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.
“I am thankful to the PCB for trusting me with the important responsibility of grooming and nurturing the future stars of Pakistan cricket," said Ijaz after the announcement on Monday, 26 August. "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.”
The 50-year-old was selected for the role after being one of five shortlisted candidates, along with Azam Khan, Saqlain Mushtaq, Kabir Khan, Abdul Razzaq and Atiq-uz-Zaman. Ahmed'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.
In terms of the youth team, his main focus will be on the U19 World Cup in South Africa next year, where Pakistan are one of the eight automatic qualifiers.
Ijaz represented Pakistan in 60 Tests and 250 one-day internationals, scoring 9879 runs in a career that spanned almost 15 years.
“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.”
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