Monday, February 18, 2008

U-19 Young Guns for the Future

The Under 19 Cricket World Cup got underway in Malaysia yesterday. Pakistan are the defending champions and are also looking to win their 3rd consecutive U-19 title. Pakistan's U-19 captains from the 2004 and 2006 campaigns, Khalid Latif and Sarfraz Ahmed respectively, have made their international debuts in the last 6 months. Rohit Sharma and Piyush Chawla, who represented India in the 2006 U-19 WC have also made their international debuts.

I did a post some time back covering players that have represented their teams in U-19 world cups and then gone on to play international cricket. In this post I profile the captains of the 9 major U-19 teams taking part in the current World Cup.

How many of these will play international cricket? How many of these are future stars? How many of these will go on to captain their countries in international cricket? Only time will tell, but taking a look at their profiles and achievements thus far shows a lot of promising young cricketers for the future.

Micheal Hill - 19 years. Left Hand Batsman, Right Arm Medium Pace Bowler.
Hill, a Victorian, led the Victoria U-19 team to the title in the National U-19 Championship in 2007. That led him to a contract with the Bushrangers for the current season, however he hasn't made his first class debut yet. Hill began Australia's U-19 campaign with a thumping 124 of only 71 deliveries against Namibia yesterday - that innings included 7 hits to the fence and 12 SIXES! The sixes is an U-19 record I think. The ODI record is 11 shared by Jayasuriya and Afridi and Hill bettered that by 1.

Suhrawadi Shuvo - 19 years. Right Hand Batsman, Slow Left Arm Orthodox.
From Rajshahi, Shuvo was part of the Bangladesh U-19 squad that played the U-19 WC in 2006. In that tournament he impressed with his left arm spin picking up 9 wickets at 14.44 apiece. Shuvo made his first class debut in 2004-05 for Rajshahi - he's played 15 first class game picking up 69 wickets at about 22 runs apiece. The Bengali skipper was wrecker-in-chief picking up 3-9 in 7 overs against Bermuda as Bangladesh romped to victory in their opening game of the WC.

Alex Wakely - 19 years. Right Hand Bastman, Right Arm Fast Medium Bowler.
This young English lad made his first class debut for Northamptionshire in the last county season, playing 4 games between July and September 2007. Though his overall figures are not much to speak of, Alex impressed in his debut innings against Somerset scoring a gritty 38 batting at number 6. Slated to come at #3, Alex didn't get to bat in England's 10 wicket rout of Ireland in their first match of this WC, and he didn't bowl either.

Virat Kohli - 19 years. Right Hand Batsman.
This Delhi boy made headlines with his 251 for the Delhi U-17 side in the National U-17 Championships in 2005. Form there, Kohli went on to make his Ranjhi debut in the 2006-07 season and has thus far played 11 first class matches for Delhi scoring 630 runs in 17 innings at an average of 45.00. He has hit 2 first class centuries and a fifty with a highest score of 169. Batting at #4, Kohli hit a 49 ball 40 against Papua New Guinea in India's opening match of this WC.

New Zealand
Kane Williamson - 17 years. Right Hand Batsman, Right Arm Offspinner.
The youngest of all captains in the U-19 WC, Kane from Tauranga made his first class debut for Northern Districts before he played at the U-19 level. He is more of a batsman but bowls handy offspin and was adjudged player for the tournament at the Gillette Schools Competition in 2007, which led him to captaining the NZ U-19 side. Batting at #3, Kane managed only 13 in the Kiwis' first game of the WC against Zimbabwe.

Imad Wasim - 19 years. Slow Left Arm Orthodox, Left Hand Batsman.
This young Islamabadi boy was a member of the U-19 world cup winning team in 2006. Named captain of the U-19 side in July 2007, Imad led Pak U-19 to a 1-1 draw in the youth tests and 3-1 win in the ODIs against England in England last summer. This was followed by a thumping 5-0 whitewash of the Australian u-19 team in Pakistan in which he took 12 wickets at 13.00 apiece. Primarily a left arm spinner, Imad is also a hard hitting lower order batsman, a skill he displayed in his first class debut for Islamabad where he scored a run a ball 88 against Quetta in January 2007. He has played 7 first class games scoring 201 runs in 8 innings at 50.25 and picking up 6 wickets. Imad was a spectator in Pakistan's opening match against Malaysia as he saw his pacers bowl them out for 75 and his top order easily knock off the runs.

South Africa
Wayne Parnell - 18 years. Left Arm Medium-Fast Bowler, Left Hand Batsman.
From Eastern Province, Wayne was a member of the U-19 team that took part in the 2006 WC. Primarily a pacer, he has an impressive first class record having played 6 matches picking up 17 wickets at 22 apiece with a best of 4-7. Wayne impressed with the ball in the Proteas' first match of the WC against the Windies where he took the new ball and ended with figures of 3-37 off his 10 overs.

Sri Lanka
Ashan Priyanjan - 18 years. Right Hand Batsman, Right Arm Medium-Fast Bowler.
This young boy from Colombo impressed selectors with some allround performances for a club side in Sri Lanka. Ashan is yet to make his first class debut, however he has represented bloomfield in a couple of Domestic One Dayers. A top order batsman and a lively pacer, he was also a member of the team that took part in the 2006 U-19 WC. In Sri Lanka's opening match against Nepal, Priyanjan scored 46 with 5 boundaries batting at number 4 in a battling innings that saw him come out at 13-2.

West Indies
Sharmarh Brooks - 19 years. Right Hand Batsman, Right Arm Leg Spinner.
An allrounder from Barbados, Brook was a member of the Carribean team during the 2006 U-19 WC and made his first class debut last year. In 5 first class games he is yet to pick up a wicket, however he has impressed with his leg breaks at the U-19. Brooks managed only 7 in the Windies' first game against South Africa but he shone with the ball picking up 4-39 in 9 overs and running through the Proteas middle order.

IMO, that is a very talented bunch and some of them have a very bright future. Imad Wasim and Virat Kohli would probably make their international debuts earlier than the rest because of the subcontinents' nature of throwing the young ones at the deep end. Micheal Hill may take another 10 years to bag the green cap but he would have probably scored over 15,000 first class runs for Victoria by then, while Wayne would probably join the never ending South African pace bandwagon in the next 2-3 years. Brooks could be the spinner the West Indies have never had, while Shuvo could join the long list of left armers to represent Bangladesh.

But then again, maybe all of them could go the Reetinder Singh Sodhi way! I hope not though.

Stay tuned for more updates from the U-19 world cup from Malaysia.

Make your pitch on this post...

Labels: , , , , , , ,

2 Pitched:

  1. Jrod said...

    Hello Good Friend

    I’m sure you are concerned about all the worlds ills, and you probably wish there was at least one thing you could do.

    Well now there is visit and Sign my David Hussey for Australia Petition and you’ll be contributing to world peace.

    Vote David Hussey, he will represent you the people.

  2. Q said...

    Done :-)

    How about a petition for Australia touring Pakistan?

    The elections happened yesterday, there was no bomb. The PM will be announced today, hopefully there will be no bomb. Life will go on in Pakistan, the Aussies should tour, and there will be no bomb.

Post a Comment