Talent-hunt launched by PCB in collaboration with the Pepsi
Here is another opportunity for aspiring young Pakistani cricketers to hit the national limelight. Sponsored by the Pepsi Cola International, the world’s most popular sports drink is aligning itself with one of most popular sports in Pakistan.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in collaboration with the Pepsi Cola International has initiated a talent hunt program under the ‘Pepsi Cricket Activation’ banner on Thursday in Lahore. In a joint press conference at the Royal Palm and Country Club, PCB and Pepsi Cola representatives explained that the basic aim of the program is to unearth talented cricketers from all over Pakistan. The Pakistan Cricket Board was represented by Wasim Bari and Intikhab Alam while Khurram Koraishy was representing Pepsi at the press conference.
A spokesperson for Pepsi Cola explained that many brilliant young boys may never get a chance to get selected or go on to hit the national limelight due to lack of opportunities in Pakistan’s cricketing set-up.
“For these young talented boys of Pakistan, Pepsi and PCB are launching this program where each and every boy, whether he belongs to any province or any city in Pakistan, will get a fair chance for getting short listed for being trained at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and eventually for the Pakistan cricket team,” he added.
‘Pepsi Cricket Activation’ is a nationwide talent hunt that would help Pakistan Cricket to find its next under 19 sensations. Over the years, Pakistan cricket has been able to come up with exciting junior talents with the likes of Mohammad Aamir and Umar Akmal to name a few.
A panel of selectors under the supervision of the PCB’s Game and Development Director Haroon Rashid as well as Aaqib Javed and Rashif Latif will screen out the participants and evaluate their cricketing skills and potentials.
Pepsi Cola International is the most popular sports drink amongst the cricket fraternity. The brand will play the role of catalyst in spotting the next U-19 team for Pakistan. ‘Pepsi Cricket Activation’ is an ideal podium for budding young cricketers who can showcase their skills in front of the world’s leading talent shapers in Pakistan. People like Wasim Akram and Rashid Latif will surely give their careers a titanic boost.
Pepsi Cola international is a true talent spotter. It has given Pakistan Cricket some legendary names including Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and the Rawalpindi Express\ Shoaib Akhtar to name a few.
In the first round of the program, the tryouts will be held across Pakistan covering more than 100 cities. Trials will be held in the major cities of Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore and will then shift to FATA (Federally Administrated Tribal Areas) ,Turbat, Swabi and Dadu. Every guy who is less than 16 years of age will get an opportunity to prove his talent and get selected by Pakistan Cricket Board’s qualified coaches and selectors.
The most talented youth of the country will then be divided into 12 teams, including 11 regional teams and one team from FATA. A regional tournament will be held amongst the selected individuals. From the regional tournament, the top 25 cricketers will be selected for a rigorous training at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) and if they keep on performing well, they will get an opportunity to represent Pakistan in the next Under-19 squad.
Earlier, the national coach and former fast bowler Waqar Younis also revealed his intentions to inject fresh blood in the plunging affairs of Pakistan cricket. He said that this is the right time to bring in young talent.
A few young faces, including Umar Amin, Asad Shafiq and Shahzaib Hasan have also been given a chance to show their skills in the quadrangular Asia Cup in Sri Lanka.
The national coach hoped the inclusion of young talent into the squad for the Asia Cup will help the Green Shirts move on and get themselves ready for upcoming competitions. Talking about induction of youngsters and dropping former Pakistan captain Younis Khan and Mohammad Yousuf, Waqar explain that both were great players.
He further explained, “But I think it's the right time to indulge new players, and I believe Umar and Asad are no doubt very talented and have a bright future. We have not won anything significant over the last two-three years, but with youngsters in the side we have a hope to get back on a winning track”.