The U19 Challenger Trophy, which traditionally is played between three Indian teams, will have a fourth entrant this year as the Indian cricket board has invited Sri Lankan teenagers to spice up the tournament. It will be the first time that any foreign team will be playing the Challenger series. The main aim for the move is to give more exposure and competition to the three Indian teams ahead of the U19 world cup early next year.
“All these boys have played with each other for quite sometime now. The BCCI wants to give more meaning to these contest at the same time playing a foreign team will help prepare India Under-19 team which is scheduled to play U19 World Cup next year in New Zealand,” sources in the BCCI told The Indian Express.
The Sri Lankan Cricket Board has accepted the request and will be sending their U19 team to play in Mumbai where each team will play three league games with the two top teams qualifying for the finals. It will be played under floodlights in Mumbai.
Mumbai’s opener Prithvi Shaw will lead Team A, whereas Himanshu Rana will captain Team B whereas Abhishek Sharma has been named skipper for Team C. The junior selection committee has named 13 players in each squad and the tournament will help selectors pick their final core team which will take part in the U19 World Cup.
U19 Asia Cup: India crash out
Defending champions India were knocked out of the U-19 Asia Cup after suffering a shocking eight-wicket defeat at the hands of Bangladesh. This was India’s second loss in three days, having being stunned by Nepal in the first match. Bangladesh emerged victorious after they chased down the target of 188 with eight wickets and four overs to spare.
The defeat meant Bangladesh and Nepal, from Group A, will join Pakistan and Afghanistan respectively in the semi-finals. Rainy conditions had reduced the match at the Royal Selangor Club, India’s third venue in three games, to 32 overs a side.
Bangladesh, who elected to field, picked up wickets at regular intervals and reduced India to 85 for four at the halfway mark.
Without two of their key batsmen in Prithvi Shaw and Shubman Gill, the Rahul Dravid-coached India couldn’t manage a single half-century, with Salman Khan’s unbeaten 39 being the highest. Two others — Harvik Desai (21) and Anuj Rawat (34) — wasted starts. The last four wickets added 71 to in the must-win game.
Brief Scores: India U-19 187/8 (Salman Khan 39; Robiul 3-43, Nayeem 2-38) lost to Bangladesh U-19 191/2 (Ghosh 81 not out, Hridoy 48 not out) by eight wickets.
With inputs from PTI