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    Lawson to assist Afghan under-19 WC team

    Lawson will assist the Afghanistan team as consultant during the Under-19 Cricket WC in Queensland August 11-26.

    Kabul: Former Australian fast bowler Geoff Lawson will assist the Afghanistan team as consultant during the Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Queensland August 11-26.

    Afghanistan Cricket Board (ACB) spokesman Nusratullah Wafa, while releasing the 15-member squad, said that Lawson will work with the players on arrival in Australia for the event, almost three weeks ahead of the event that features 16 teams, divided into four groups, reports Xinhua.

    The 15-member Afghanistan squad will be captained by Javed Ahmadi with Shabir Noori as his deputy and Haji Wali Amin as coach.

    Afghanistan is placed in group B with Pakistan, New Zealand and Scotland.

    Hosts Australia, England, Nepal and Ireland are in group A.

    The West Indies, Zimbabwe, India and Papua New Guinea are drawn in group C.

    Group D comprises Sri Lanka, South Africa, Bangladesh and Namibia.

    In their opener, Afghanistan will face Pakistan Aug 11 before taking on the Kiwis three days later. In the third encounter, they are scheduled to meet Scotland Aug 15.

    Afghanistan will play warm-up matches against Ireland Aug 7 and India the following day.

    ACB chief executive Hamid Shinwari said the squad had been picked after a thorough assessment of players' overall performance during six months of trials. He added the youngsters' morale has been high since they defeated Bangladesh in the Asian Cup a few days ago.

    Farid Malik, who has been able to find his way to the team for the first time, called his inclusion the most important occasion in his life. "I have reached this stage after struggling for the last four years," he said, to do all he could to help the side bring home laurels.

    The squad:

    Javed Ahmadi (captain), Shabir Noori (vice captain), Nasir Jamal Ahmadzai, Afsar Zazi, Najeeb Zadran, Syed Ahmad Sherzad, Mohibullah Pak, Aftab Alam, Noorul Haq Malakzai, Yamen Ahmadzai, Farid Malak, Younas Khan, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Abdul Rahim Mangal and Rashid Khan Nasiri.