26 February 2014
The future stars of Cricket
The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup UAE 2014 is poised for a thrilling final on Saturday 1 March, when Pakistan and South Africa meet in the tournament’s deciding match. Regardless of who wins, the tournament has provided a glimpse at some of the sport's emerging stars. Here are eight names to look out for:
The ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup has provided a glimpse at some of the sports emerging stars
The up-and coming-Pakistan player claimed the best batting statistics of the tournament so far - 370 runs, including 37 boundaries - and also achieved the best individual high score of 133. Together with captain Sami Aslam, he produced three century opening partnerships in four matches. Imam-ul-Haq is the nephew of Pakistan ICC Cricket World Cup winner Inzamam-ul-Haq.
Nicolas Pooran (West Indies)
While he couldn’t prevent his team’s five-wicket loss in the quarter-final against Australia, Pooran gave his team a fighting chance by scoring 143 - 69 per cent of the team's total. The left handed batsman and wicketkeeper is no stranger to top-class cricket, having featured in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) for the Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel.
Aiden Markram (South Africa)
The South Africa captain has been leading his team from the front, with two centuries at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup UAE 2014, including 120* against Zimbabwe and 105* against Afghanistan in the quarter-final. Will he lead his team to victory against Pakistan in Saturday’s final?
Kuldeep Yadav (India)
This left-arm unorthodox spin bowler (or chinaman) was always going to bring something interesting to the India U19 team. His performances at this year’s tournament have not disappointed: 13 wickets including 4-10 against Papua New Guinea and 4-28 against Scotland – the latter featuring a hat-trick.
Jake Doran (Australia)
Unlucky not to reach a century in last week’s quarter-final against Bangladesh, finishing on 99*, at just 17 Doran is one of the youngest players in the Australian U19 squad. He’s also one with a big future ahead of him, as confirmed by Cricket Australia’s National Talent Manager Greg Chappell: “Jake has been making big runs for a number of years and looks an exciting prospect".
Mohammad Mujtaba (Afghanistan)
His solid 75 helped Afghanistan achieve a major upset early in the tournament, defeating Australia by 36 runs. Mujtaba’s form continued into match three as he smashed 50 off 30 balls against Namibia, earning a second Man of the Match award and giving Afghanistan its first appearance at the U19 quarter-finals. While Afghanistan was unable to reach the semis, Mujtaba’s performances – and that of this team – further reinforce the rising prominence of Afghanistan cricket.
Sadeera Samarawickrama (Sri Lanka)
Confident batting performances by Sadeera Samarawickrama have set the pace for Sri Lanka’s showing at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup UAE 2014. After scoring 82 against India in a warm-up match, Samarawickrama reached half centuries in Sri Lanka’s pool matches against New Zealand and England. A 121-run loss to Pakistan halted their progress at the quarter-final stage but Samarawickrama is shaping up as a talented prospect.
Ben Duckett (England)
England’s No 4 batsman got off to an impressive start with 83 against in the team’s opening match against the UAE. An injury meant that Duckett had to wait two matches before his next opportunity, where he scored 61 in the quarter-final against India – an innings which featured some confident reverse sweeps. With previous ICC U19 Cricket World Cup experience and regular matches for his county (Northamptonshire), Duckett is shaping up as a player to watch.
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