Ijaz Ahmed appointed Pakistan Under-19 head coach
Ijaz Ahmed has had stints with the Pakistan A and Under-19 sides. (Image courtesy: Twitter)

Former batsman Ijaz Ahmed has been appointed head coach of the Pakistan Under-19 cricket team, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced Monday. Ijaz has been assigned the post for a tenure of three years during which he will also foresee the Pakistan A and Under-16 sides and work closely with them.

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“I am thankful to the PCB for trusting me with the important responsibility of grooming and nurturing the future stars of Pakistan cricket,” Ijaz, who played 60 Tests and 250 ODIs for the national side, said. “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.

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“I am excited with this opportunity and look forward to playing my part in what are exciting times for Pakistan cricket.”

The Pakistan Under-19 will play the ACC Under-19 Asia Cup in Colombo between September 5 and 14 and the PCB announced that Ijaz will take over once the tournament concludes. Ijaz has a good amount of coaching experience having earlier served with Pakistan A and Under-19 including the ICC U-19 World Cup in 2010.

The appointment procedure was looked after by former cricketers Mudassar Nazar and PCB’s managing director Wasim Khan.

“I have seen Ijaz Ahmed develop as one of the most talented coaches. 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,” Nazar said.

“I have no doubts Ijaz will be 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.”