U19 Cricket World Cup

Players to watch at U19 Cricket World Cup 2024

by Daniel Beswick

So often a gateway to the future, the U19 Cricket World Cup has seen a number of players go on and enjoy fruitful senior international careers.

With the tournament beginning on January 19, we take a look at a number of players tipped to perform in South Africa.

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Group A


After a semi-final appearance at the ACC U19 Asia Cup, India continued their preparation for the tournament in South Africa with a tri-series pitting them against the hosts and Afghanistan. They were comfortable winners of the series, with Uday Saharan top scoring with 112 against the Proteas in the final. Saharan was also the top-scorer in their official warm-up against Australia (74).

Arshin Kulkarni led the team in runs at the Asia Cup, while Raj Limbani raised eyebrows by taking 7/13 (9.1) against Nepal at the ACC U19 Asia Cup. Vice captain Saumy Pandey led the team in wickets during the tri-series, also taking 6/29 against Afghanistan.

Given the speedy transition from U19 to success to senior caps for a number of players in recent years, a strong performance from India’s best in South Africa could propel players to higher honours sooner rather than later.

India: Arshin Kulkarni, Adarsh Singh, Rudra Mayur Patel, Sachin Dhas, Priyanshu Moliya, Musheer Khan, Uday Saharan (c), Aravelly Avanish Rao (WK), Saumy Kumar Pandey (VC), Murugan Abhishek, Innesh Mahajan (wk), Dhanush Gowda, Aaradhya Shukla, Raj Limbani and Naman Tiwari


Ashiqur Rahaman Shibli was a star at the ACC U19 Asia Cup, easily the top-scorer at the tournament with 378 runs at 126, hitting two centuries and two fifties and taking home the trophy.

Ashiqur made 129 (149) in the final against UAE, and Sri Lanka will perhaps be grateful they avoid him across the group stage and the Super Sixes after his unbeaten 116* at the same tournament.

Left-arm seamer Maruf Mridha is arguably the most consistent seamer, having taken nine wickets in the final three matches of the successful campaign, including 4/41 in a Player of the Match performance against India.

Bangladesh: Mahfuzur Rahman Rabby (Captain), Ashiqur Rahaman Shibli, Jishan Alam, Chowdhury Md Rizwan, Adil Bin Siddik, Mohammad Ashrafuzzaman Boranno, Ariful Islam, Shihab James, Ahrar Amin (Vice Captain), Sheikh Parvez Jibon, Rafi Uzzaman Rafi, Rohanat Doullah Borson, Iqbal Hasan Emon, Wasi Siddiquee, Maruf Mridha


On top of a win against Zimbabwe in the lead-up to the tournament, Philippe le Roux’s men also boast a youth ODI win against England back in August, comfortably defending 333 and holding their opponents to 261.

All-rounder Scott MacBeth turned the match on its head with a 48-ball 90*, helped by Gavin Roulston’s 73 and Jordan Neill’s 77. Roulston also made 81 in the first match against Zimbabwe, while Daniel Forkin boasts performances of 4/53 and 3/64 against the English.

Ireland: Philippe le Roux (c), Macdara Cosgrave, Harry Dyer, Daniel Forkin, Kian Hilton, Ryan Hunter, Finn Lutton, Scott Macbeth, Carson McCullough, John McNally, Jordan Neill, Oliver Riley, Gavin Roulston, Matthew Weldon, Reuben Wilson. Non-Travelling Reserves: Adam Leckey, Hayden Melly, James West


Captain Rishi Ramesh has been lauded by the American observers for his high energy and high confidence, and was an obvious choice to lead the team in South Africa. Batter Utkarsh Srivastava will likely be a crucial figure on the batting side and is able to bat up and down the order, and showed in his 2023 Minor League season with the Morrisville Raptors that he is more than capable as a finger-spinner when deployed. Srivastava has also been earmarked to follow the success of recent senior team graduate Sai Mukkamalla.

Seamer Ateendra Subramanian comes into the tournament as the most experienced from a senior standpoint, having played three seasons of Minor League Cricket, not looking out of place among an attack of respected senior players. Look for him to bowl a lot of his overs either in the Powerplay or at the backend.

USA: Amogh Arepally, Rayaan Bhagani, Aaryan Batra, Khush Bhalala, Prannav Chettipalayam, Arya Garg, Siddarth Kappa, Bhavya Mehta, Aarin Nadkarni, Manav Nayak, Parth Patel, Rishi Ramesh (c), Utkarsh Srivastava (vc), Ateendra Subramanian, Aryaman Suri. Reserves: Arjun Mahesh, Ansh Rai, Aryan Satheesh

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Group B


On top of travelling on several youth tours, a number of England’s squad members have signed professional county contracts and come in as arguably the most-credentialed.

Skipper Ben McKinney turns out for Durham, struck at 129 across four innings in the recent home Youth ODI series against Australia, with Warwickshire’s Hamza Shaikh leading the run tally in the same series (235 at 47). Bowler Eddie Jack has performed on multiple youth tours, most notably taking a five-wicket haul against Bangladesh, and Jaydn Denly should contribute with both bat and ball.

Vice-captain Luc Benkentein, following in the footsteps of father Dale and grandfather Martin to play elite cricket, also featured in the team of the tournament for the inaugural Pakistan Junior League in 2022 for his work with the Gwadar Sharks. Luc is a leg-spinning all-rounder, most notably taking 6/42 against Glamorgan in a one-day match. Charlie Allison is an Essex teammate and has two List A fifties, and the pair are joined at the county by all-rounder Noah Thain.

England: Ben McKinney (c), Luc Benkenstein (vc), Farhan Ahmed, Tazeem Ali, Charlie Allison, Charlie Barnard, Jack Carney, Jaydn Denly, Eddie Jack, Dominic Kelly, Sebastian Morgan, Haydon Mustard, Hamza Shaikh, Noah Thain, and Theo Wylie

South Africa

Left-arm quick Kwena Maphaka has turned heads early in his cricketing journey, not just for the U19s but also for the South Africa Emerging side (a team he has also captained) that turns out in Provincial Division Two cricket.

Often taking the new ball, Maphaka played in the last U19 World Cup as a 15-year-old and is in good form for the upcoming edition, taking a five-wicket haul in their preparation tri-series match against Afghanistan.

Batter Steve Stolk also stood out in the U19 tri-series that also included India, making 180 runs at an average of 45 and an astonishing strike rate of 134. Stolk hit 10 sixes across his first four innings in the series. Also look out for right-armer seamer Nqobani Mokoena who can also add vital runs down the order.

Lhuan-dre Pretorius is also a name to look out for, with several players around the teams naming him as one to watch.

South Africa: David Teeger, Esosa Aihevba, Juan James, Martin Khumalo, Kwena Maphaka, Dewan Marias, Riley Norton, Nqobani Mokoena, Romashan Pillay, Sipho Potsane, Lhuan-dre Pretorius, Richard Seletswane, Oliver Whitehead, Steve Stolk, and Ntando Zuma

West Indies

Featuring at the 2022 tournament as a 16-year-old, Jamaican batter Jordan Johnson returns having made List A and First Class debuts, the latter for a West Indies A team against South Africa A in December.

Barbados Wicketkeeper-batter Jewel Andrew has chipped in with runs on a youth tour of Sri Lanka, while fast bowler Isai Thorne was a handful for Ireland’s Emerging group, taking 12 wickets across two First Class matches for the West Indies Academy. Vice-captain Nathan Sealey has also been earmarked as a future senior international, predominantly a left-arm spinner but also tipped to develop in his batting.

West Indies: Stephan Pascal (c), Nathan Sealy (vc), Jewel Andrew, Mavendra Dindyal, Joshua Dorne, Nathan Edward, Tarrique Edward, Reon Edwards, Deshawn James, Jordan Johnson, Devonie Joseph, Raneico Smith, Isai Thorne, Steve Wedderburn, Adrian Weir


Batter Jamie Dunk was a standout at the Europe Qualifier, well clear as the top run-scorer with 244 runs at 85. He was followed by off-spinning all-rounder Alec Price (208 at 69.33) who contributed with a match-best of 82 against the Dutch. Price can also contribute with the ball, as his 4/29 (10) against Jersey at the same tournament showed.

One of the stories of the tournament will be highly-touted 18-year-old batter Bahadar Esakhiel, also regarded as one of the best fielders in the group.

Esakhiel arrived in Scotland from Afghanistan in 2016 and only took up the game seriously in 2018 upon encouragement from friends in his new home. A century-maker at U17 level against Ireland, the Ferguslie right-hander amassed over 400 runs in the Western Premiership in the 2023 season. Ferguslie teammates, batter Uzair Ahmad and spinner Qasim Khan, are also tipped to impress.

Scotland: Owen Gould (c), Uzair Ahmad, Harry Armstrong, Logan Briggs, Jamie Dunk, Bahadar Esakhiel, Ibrahim Faisal, Rory Grant, Adi Hegde, Mackenzie Jones, Manu Saraswat, Qasim Khan, Nikhil Koteeswaran, Ruaridh McIntyre, Alec Price.

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Group C


Long-touted for success, Sutherland product Sam Konstas has won over a number of admirers, most notably former Test spinner and commentator Kerry O’Keeffe, and the 18-year-old has earned a senior New South Wales call-up in First Class cricket.

Konstas made an unbeaten hundred in an U19 one-day match against England on their August UK tour, with the tourists claiming 50-over and four-day series wins.

Raf MacMillan was the leading wicket-taker (10) when Australia met England in the five-match Youth ODI series, while Harjas Singh was the aggressor with the bat, hitting 139 runs at a strike rate of 124 and an average of 46.33.

Mahli Beardman has domestic List A experience for Western Australia, while there are big wraps on Harry Dixon who has a Big Bash League contract with the Melbourne Renegades and enjoyed the red ball leg of the UK tour.

Australia: Hugh Weibgen (c) Lachlan Aitken, Charlie Anderson, Harkirat Bajwa, Mahli Beardman, Tom Campbell, Harry Dixon, Ryan Hicks, Sam Konstas, Rafael MacMillan, Aidan O’Connor, Harjas Singh, Tom Straker, Callum Vidler, Corey Wasley

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka have built into the tournament by hosting the West Indies and featuring in the ACC U19 Asia Cup, and are led by Sineth Jayawardena, a talented batting all-rounder who should slot in at No.3.

Jayawardena will aim to convert starts into bigger scores, as will Dinura Kalupahana, who has posted half centuries against Pakistan and UAE.

On the bowling side, Malsha Tharupathi is highly-touted for his leg-spin and has 12 wickets in his last five U19 ODIs, and has almost 30 senior domestic white ball wickets to his name in just 20 outings.

Garuka Sanketh and Supun Waduge should also enjoy strong tournaments.

Sri Lanka: Sineth Jayawardena (c), Pulindu Perera, Hirun Kapurubandara, Ravishan Nethsara, Rusanda Gamage, Sharujan Shanmuganathan, Dinura Kalupahana, Malsha Tharupathi, Vishva Lahiru, Garuka Sanketh, Duvindu Ranatunga, Ruvishan Perera, Supun Waduge, Vihas Thewmika, Vishen Halambage. Travelling Reserves: Dinuka Tennakoon, Hiran Jayasundara.


The young Chevrons stepped up their build-up into the tournament with two matches against Ireland, the same opponents they will face in an official warm-up on 14 January.

The team led by Matthew Schonken successfully defended 236 in the first match, though fell 17 runs short of Ireland’s 265 in match two. Leg-spinner Schonken and Newman Nyamhuri, who turns 18 on day one of the tournament, claimed five wickets each in the two matches.

Ryan Kamwemba, who can also keep wicket, made a 112-ball 103 in the second fixture.

Zimbabwe: Nathaniel Hlabangana, Panashe Taruvinga, Ronak Patel, Campbell MacMillan, Ryan Kamwemba, Brendon Sunguro, Calton Takawira, Matthew Schonken (c), Anesu Kamuriwo, Newman Nyamhuri, Mashford Shungu, Kohl Eksteen, Panashe Gwatiringa, Ryan Simbi, Munashe Chimusoro


Matthew Schonken
Calton Takawira
Newman Nyamhuri
Mashford Shungu
Brendon Sunguro
Ryan Kamwemba


With several squad members in senior team contention and many flourishing in domestic cricket, Namibia should enjoy familiar South African conditions. Captain Alexander Volschenk among others play and go to school south of the border.

Jack Brassell made headlines in a domestic 50-over debut, taking stunning figures of 7/9, including the wickets of senior internationals Stephen Baard and Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton. Brassell has also relocated to England for his cricket development, though has aspirations of representing the senior team. 

Gerhard Janse van Rensburg has represented Namibia in unofficial internationals against Uganda, as has Zacheo van Vuuren, the son of Rudie who featured at both the 2003 Cricket and Rugby World Cups for Namibia. Zacheo is a strong all-rounder, who bowls seam up as his father did for the country.

Namibia: Alex Volschenk (c), Gerhard Janse van Rensburg, Hansie de Villiers, JW Visagie, Ben Brassell, Jack Brassell, Henry van Wyk, Zacheo van Vuuren, Nico Pieters, Faf du Plessis, Woutie Niehaus, PD Blignaut, Hanro Badenhorst, Junior Kariata, Ryan Moffett.

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Group D


Fans will be pleased that the conveyor belt of spinners from Afghanistan continues to roll for the 2024 edition, with 16-year-old Allah Mohammad Ghazanfar set to feature.

A tall off-spinner, Ghazanfar has drawn parallels to Mujeeb ur Rahman, and his name has appeared in final auction lists for several T20 leagues.

Hassan Khan Eisakhil meanwhile walks a path to international cricket forged by a famous father: Mohammad Nabi.

Hassan is based in UAE and is eligible to play senior cricket for either UAE or Afghanistan, with an international appearance alongside his dad not outside the realms of possibility. On the field, Hassan opens the batting and recently made a half-century in the team’s preparation tri-series match against India in Johannesburg.

Afghanistan: Naseer Khan (C), Numan Shah (VC & WK), Hassan Eisakhil, Wafiullah Tarakhil, Khalid Taniwal, Ali Ahmad Nasar, Jamshid Zadran, Sohail Khan Zurmati, Rahimullah Zurmati, Allah Mohammad, Arab Gul Momand, Faridoon Dawoodzai, Bashir Ahmad, Khalil Ahmad, Zahid Afghan. Reserves: Wahidullah Zadran, Nasir Hassan, Usman Shinwari


There’s a lot of responsibility on the shoulders of 17-year-old Saad Baig, who not only leads Pakistan at the tournament, but also keeps and features at No.4 in the batting order. Baig has three half-centuries in his last four innings for the side, and looks to enjoy the responsibility in key moments. Seamer Mohammed Zeeshan should feature prominently after being a travelling reserve two years ago.

Meanwhile, the brother of Naseem Shah, Ubaid Shah, will look to make a name for himself in the international game. A fellow quick, Ubaid’s action is a fraction taller, and capable of hitting yorker lengths when required. 

Those who followed the Asian Games in October will also recognise Arafat Minhas, who featured three times in Pakistan’s Hangzhou campaign.

Pakistan: Saad Baig (c & wk), Ali Asfand (vc), Ali Raza, Ahmad Hassan, Amir Hassan, Arfat Minhas, Azan Awais, Haroon Arshad, Khubaib Khalil, Mohammad Zeeshan, Naveed Ahmed Khan, Shahzaib Khan, Shamyl Hussain, Muhammad Riazullah and Ubaid Shah

New Zealand

Having to go through regional qualification for this year’s tournament, New Zealand’s path to South Africa took a detour through Darwin last June, topping the East Asia-Pacific tournament. Zac Cumming, the son of former international Craig, was instrumental with both bat and ball.

The family theme continues looking to the rest of the squad. Matt Rowe is cousin of current White Fern Hannah, and Tom Jones is grandson of New Zealand great Jeremy Coney. Jones top-scored at the East Asia-Pacific Qualifier (283 runs at 70.75)

New Zealand: Oscar Jackson (c), Mason Clarke, Sam Clode, Zac Cumming, Rahman Hekmat, Tom Jones, James Nelson, Snehith Reddy, Matt Rowe, Ewald Schreuder, Lachlan Stackpole, Oliver Tewatiya, Alex Thompson, Ryan Tsourgas, Luke Watson. 

Reserves: Ben Breitmeyer, Nick Brown, Henry Christie, Robbie Foulkes, Josh Oliver, Amogh Paranjpe.


Fans will recognise skipper Dev Khanal and Gulshan Jha from their appearances for the Nepali senior team, though there is reason to be excited about a number of other players in the squad ready to make an impression and knock on the senior selection door.

Arjun Kumal has put together several knocks across warm-up play and the ACC U19 Asia Cup, while Durgesh Gupta is a left-arm seamer who has impressed in junior domestic cricket.

Nepal: Dev Khanal (c), Arjun Kumal, Aakash Tripathi, Dipak Prasad Dumre, Durgesh Gupta, Gulshan Kumar Jha, Dipesh Prasad Kandel, Bishal Bikram KC, Subhash Bhandari, Deepak Bohara, Dipak Bohara, Uttam Rangu Thapa Macar, Bipin Rawal, Tilak Raj Bhandari, Akash Chand

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