Pakistan U19 coach Ejaz Ahmad thinks Pakistan can beat the defending champions and arch-rivals India in the upcoming ICC U19 World Cup, which is scheduled to take place in South Africa from January 17, 2020.
Pakistan U19 squad, in the leadership of Rohail Nazir, left for South Africa last night to participate in the ICC U19 World Cup 2020.
Ejaz Ahmad, who is the head coach of Pakistan U19 at present, looked confident before leaving for South Africa. The former Pakistan batsman talked about Pakistan’s chances at the World Cup.
Ejaz Ahmad said,” India has a perfect cricket system, and it is organized. Still, I know that we have more passion than them when we play against each other, and that is how we also beat them in the semi-finals of the recent Asian Emerging Nations Cup.”
Ejaz Ahmad, who represented Pakistan in 60 Tests and 250 ODIs, was also the head coach of Pakistan U19 cricket team when they beat India U19 in the Emerging Asia Cup semi-final in Bangladesh recently.
Pakistan U19 will beat India U19 because of our greater passion: Ejaz Ahmad
Ejaz said,” Even in the past, we beat India because of our greater passion, and this time also I know the passion of our players will prevail over them although they have a solid outfit.”
Ejaz Ahmad believed that the rankings wouldn’t influence a team’s performance in the mega event.
He added, “It is the same in the World Cup; it does not matter which team is number one or defending champions what will matter is how a team plays on a given day. I feel our team is well balanced.”
“I don’t believe India will get the advantage of having played a four-nation tournament with South Africa, New Zealand and Zimbabwe in South Africa before the World Cup,” Ejaz Ahmad claimed.
Ejaz Ahmad was confident that his boys had prepared enough to outplay any opposition in the ICC U19 World Cup 2020.
Regarding fitness and training, the Pakistan coach said,” Our players have also trained hard in Lahore, and we have played around 11 matches. We will also reach South Africa nine days before the World Cup, and we have some practice games, and I think our preparations are also perfect for the tournament.”
When a reporter asked about Naseem Shah’s withdrawal from the squads and the age controversy, Ejaz Ahmad denied any such reasons to drop the youngster.
He said,” Look, there was no controversy at all. The way we now see things is that you can’t expect an MBA to go and take BA exams. That is how we look at Naseem Shah, he has made the grade for Pakistan, and now he should be performing for the senior team.”
Pakistan U19 and India U19 will kick start their World Cup campaign on January 19 against Scotland U19 and Sri Lanka U19, respectively.