Pakistan’s Abdul Bangalzai to miss U-19 World Cup after testing positive for Covid-19

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He is presently isolating in Dubai and and will be replaced by offspin-bowling allrounder Abbas Ali

Top-order batter Abdul Bangalzai has been ruled out of Pakistan’s squad for the Under-19 World Cup after testing positive for Covid-19. He is presently isolating in Dubai, where the Pakistan team recently took part in the U-19 Asia Cup, and will be replaced by offspin-bowling allrounder Abbas Ali. Ali will leave for Trinidad on January 8, with the World Cup set to begin in the Caribbean on January 14.
A promising talent, Bangalzai was picked by Quetta Gladiators in the PSL draft in the “emerging players” category. The PSL is set to begin on January 27, and he will be aiming to be fully fit in time for that.

The rest of the Pakistan squad has already flown out to the West Indies for the World Cup and undergone mandatory isolation. Ali, on reaching the West Indies, will also have to isolate for three days and can join the squad on January 14 if he returns a negative Covid-19 test post-isolation. Pakistan will play their first match on January 15 against Papua New Guinea. The other teams in Pakistan’s first-round group – Group C – are Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, who they will play on January 20 and 22 respectively.

Abbas recently scored 152 runs and took six wickets in the PCB’s U-19 One-Day Cup, and 265 runs to go with 10 wickets in the PCB’s U-19 Three-Day Championship.

The Pakistan U-19 squad is being captained by Qasim Akram. Akram, opener Muhammad Shehzad and middle-order batter Irfan Khan will be playing their second U-19 World Cup – they featured in the 2020 U-19 World Cup in South Africa. Bangalzai had also played that tournament.

Pakistan squad: Qasim Akram (capt), Abdul Faseeh, Abbas Ali, Ahmed Khan, Ali Asfand, Arham Nawab, Awais Ali, Faisal Akram, Haseebullah (wk), Irfan Khan, Maaz Sadaqat, Mehran Mumtaz, Muhammad Shehzad, Rizwan Mehmood, Zeeshan Zameer

Traveling reserves: Ghazi Ghori (wicketkeeper), Mohammad Zeeshan

(With Inputs from ESPN)

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