Corey Anderson represented New Zealand in two ICC U19 Cricket World Cups – in Malaysia in 2008 and in his own backyard in 2010. With the 2018 edition of the tournament, to again be hosted by New Zealand, less than six weeks away, the Kiwi all-rounder reignites his association with the competition as its event ambassador.
Anderson said playing the U19 Cricket World Cup was something he was extremely proud of. "It's a proud moment. We play age-group cricket for a short period of time but U-19 is the first real sign of being able to play for the national side,” he said. “It means the world at that moment. When you look back, it puts you in a very good setup. You do a lot of things, you get to meet a lot of people. A lot of things that do come with it which you don't realise. I think U-19 is the perfect stepping stone.
"It is pretty overwhelming, to be honest. You get there and you have hundreds of cricket bats to sign, there are media commitments and a lot of people know who you are. At the same time, it's so exciting, it's one of those things you see on TV and you want to be like those people on TV," he added. "The first time being on TV, you're sort of in awe of it all, watching yourself on TV and you're not quite sure if it's real. I guess those things fade over time, but every now and then, it’s good to see those fans along the boundaries wanting autographs and those are the perks that are really cool about playing."
It wasn’t, however, watching cricket on television that inspired him, Anderson revealed. “It probably has nothing to do with cricket on TV or international cricket,” he said. “It was actually my brother, I used to play backyard cricket with him all the time and I guess it kind of developed from there. He probably got sick of me after a period of time, either batting or bowling or whatever I was trying to do. It was my first memory of enjoying cricket and taking me to where I am today."
Now 26, Anderson played under Kane Williamson and alongside Tim Southee in the 2008 edition, while his team-mates in 2010 included Tom Latham and Jimmy. "I feel fortunate to be able to play with a core group of U-19 cricketers, ones who are among the best cricketers at the moment,” he noted. “They are just not from New Zealand. They are from Australia, South Africa, India and all these other countries that have brought these U-19 players forward and done exceedingly well in international cricket. It's very exciting to be involved with the same group.
“It's how U-19 cricket has grown. It's producing future cricketers and great stars. From this one, hopefully, we can get to see some more future stars become household names soon enough."