The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has officially designated all-rounder Qasim Akram as the captain of the Pakistan Shaheens for their participation in the 19th Asian Games, slated to be held in Hangzhou, China. The competition will adopt the fast-paced T20 format and is scheduled to run from September 28 to October 7.

Qasim Akram, a promising 20-year-old cricketer, brings a wealth of experience, having already featured in 20 first-class matches and 40 T20 encounters. Notably, he captained the Pakistan U19 team during the ICC U19 World Cup in 2022, showcasing his leadership prowess.

Within the 15-member squad selected for the Asian Games, eight players have already donned Pakistan’s national colors at the international level. These seasoned campaigners include Aamir Jamal (2 T20Is), Arshad Iqbal (1 T20I), Asif Ali (21 ODIs, 55 T20Is), Haider Ali (2 ODIs, 33 T20Is), Khushdil Shah (10 ODIs, 24 T20Is), Mohammad Hasnain (9 ODIs, 27 T20Is), Shahnawaz Dahani (2 ODIs, 11 T20Is), and Usman Qadir (1 ODI, 23 T20Is).

Furthermore, among the 15-member squad, eight players—Aamir Jamal, Arafat Minhas, Arshad Iqbal, Omair Bin Yousuf, Qasim Akram, Rohail Nazir, Shahnawaz Dahani, and Sufiyan Muqeem—have recently been part of the Shaheens side. Notably, since May 2023, Pakistan Shaheens have embarked on extensive tours, visiting Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, and Australia.

Their tour of Zimbabwe saw Shaheens dominate in the two four-dayers against Zimbabwe A, although they faced a 4-2 loss in the 50-over matches against Zimbabwe Select. Subsequently, they clinched victory in the ACC Men’s Emerging Asia Cup held in Sri Lanka in July, triumphing over India A by 108 runs in the final. However, they secured the runner-up position in the six-team Top End T20 Series held in Darwin, Australia, earlier this month.

Following the tournament’s regulations, the Shaheens will make their appearance in the Asian Games from the quarter-final stage, set for October 3 and 4. The semi-finals are scheduled for October 6, with the grand final slated for October 7. Additionally, a match for the bronze medal will also be contested on Saturday, October 7.

It’s noteworthy that the Pakistan men’s team previously secured a bronze medal during their inaugural and sole participation in the Asian Games, which was held in Guangzhou, China, in 2010.

Pakistan Shaheens Squad:

Qasim Akram (Captain)
Omair Bin Yousuf
Aamir Jamal
Arafat Minhas
Arshad Iqbal
Asif Ali
Haider Ali
Khushdil Shah
Mirza Tahir Baig
Mohammad Hasnain
Muhammad Akhlaq
Rohail Nazir
Shahnawaz Dahani
Sufiyan Muqeem
Usman Qadir

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