The top Under-19 cricketers from the six cricket associations will begin their quest for the Three-Day Tournament trophy from Thursday. The event will be played at stadiums in Lahore, Muridke and Sheikhupura. The Pakistan Cricket Board tweeted from their official account.
Sindh, who defended the one-day title on Monday afternoon at the Gaddafi Stadium, will defend the three-day title with Rs1.5 million on offer as a winning prize. The runner-up will bag Rs750,000.
The tournament’s top performers – best player, best batsman, best bowler and best wicketkeeper – will receive Rs50,000 each. The player of the final will be awarded Rs25,000.
This year’s tournament will be played on a single-league basis and the top two teams at the end of the league stage will compete in the final – a four-day affair – that will be played at the Gaddafi Stadium from November 26.
The captains of the six teams are looking forward to the event.
Balochistan captain Mohammad Ibrahim Snr says: “We would aim to improve on our performance in the one-day tournament. The red-ball format is really exciting and provides a great chance to the players to prove their mettle. We have a talented pool of players who can perform well in the longer format; the three-day tournament will provide good competition and exposure to the players.”
Central Punjab captain Mohammad Huraira says: “Three-day cricket is all about patience and adapting to the situation. Both batsmen and bowlers need to stay patient to earn success in this format of the game. We have a balanced squad that has the potential of winning the title. We look forward to delivering to the best of our ability in the tournament.”
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa captain Abbas Ali says: “We are excited about the tournament as it provides another golden opportunity to all squad members to prove their abilities.
“The longer format allows the batsmen to take their time and settle at the crease. We hope to occupy the crease for long periods and score runs. We also need to improve our fielding and ensure that we don’t repeat the mistakes we made in the one-day event.”
Northern captain Raza-ul-Mustafa says: “We have a good combination that is backed by a very strong coaching staff that is working very hard. Our aim is to minimise our mistakes and make the most of the opportunity that we have in the three-day format. We firmly believe our team has a good chance of winning and we will do our best.”
Sindh captain Saim Ayub says: “Our aim would be to adjust to the longer format as quickly as we can. We have a very capable and talented squad and we would aim to perform to our best at any given situation. We want to retain our title after our success in the one-day format.”
Southern Punjab captain Mohammad Shehzad says: “We look forward to doing well in the three-day format. We want to express ourselves and play to the best of our ability with an aim of lifting the trophy.”
First-round fixtures starting on Thursday
Balochistan v Sindh at LCCA Ground, Lahore
Central Punjab v Southern Punjab at Rana Naved-ul-Hasan Academy, Sheikhupura
Northern v Khyber Pakhtunkhwa at Country Club Ground, Muridke.