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LAHORE: With the ambition of creating a strong talent pool at the domestic level and further strengthening its pathways programme, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will hold the first of its kind Under-19 T20 tournament from today.

There will be competition among six Cricket Association teams comprising 84 players from August 13 to 22 at the Lahore Country Club, Muridke. The tournament will be conducted on round-robin basis, meaning each team will play at least five matches. The league stage will be followed by semi-finals and final on 20 August and 22 August.

The tournament serves a perfect opportunity for the players to stake a claim in the National U-19 side ahead of the maiden ICC U-19 Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa next year and the top performers are also guaranteed places in the senior sides, which will come into action when the senior women domestic season commences from November.

To further incentivize the players to bring out their best performances, the PCB has also introduced financial awards to encourage the players to bring out their best. The winning team will receive Rs 400,000 along with the silverware and the runner-up will get Rs 200,000. The player of the tournament will be awarded Rs 20,000 and each player of the match will receive Rs 10,000. The tournament’s top performers – best player, best batter, best bowler and best wicketkeeper – will be gifted kit bags to encourage them to enhance their skills and pursue their cricketing ambitions.

The PCB has also finalized the six squads, which consist of 14 players each. These squads have been nailed down after country-wide open trials and subsequent practice games amongst the selected players across the PCB-run women regional academies. About 15 players have been placed in reserve pool and they can be called up based on a team’s requirement. Only players born on or after 1 September 2003 are eligible to play in the tournament.

Tournament Schedule:

13th Aug – Central Punjab v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Northern v Sindh; Balochistan v Southern Punjab

14th Aug – Balochistan v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Central Punjab v Northern; Southern Punjab v Sindh

16th Aug – Southern Punjab v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Central Punjab v Sindh; Balochistan v Northern

17th Aug - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa v Northern; Central Punjab v Southern Punjab; Balochistan v Sindh

19th Aug – Sindh v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; Balochistan v Central Punjab; Southern Punjab v Northern

20th Aug – Semi-finals and

22nd Aug – Final.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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