If Rahul Dravid had a chance to play a U-19 World Cup, he would not have said no to that opportunity. Unfortunately, when he was playing age-group cricket, there was no such tournament and Dravid never played one. But now he is coach of the Indian U-19 team and has led them to a U-19 World Cup final. The 2018 edition will be Dravid’s second as coach and the former India skipper would want to return with silverware this time around. He has said on numerous occasions in the past about the importance of this tournament and the role it plays in development of a player for challenges at the highest level.
On Saturday, many of the young cricketer will take the big stage when they turn out for their respective sides when the ICC U-19 World Cup begins in New Zealand. The teams have been divided into four groups with 4 teams each. India are placed in Group B with Australia, Zimbabwe, and Papua New Guinea. They open their campaign against Australia on Sunday. Both have won the title thrice before and have a chance to create history this year.
With each passing edition, the U-19 World Cup has gained significance and become more competitive. West Indies beat India in the final two years to win the title and this year, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, and even Afghanistan can spring a surprise.
The tournament begins with the opener between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Less than a month ago, both played the final of the U-19 Asia Cup in which the latter shocked the former to lift the title. A result like that on Saturday can set the tone for this year’s tournament.
— BCCI (@BCCI) 12 January 2018
Most teams have players who have already played international or First-Class cricket. India will be captained by Prithvi Shaw who already has five centuries from seven First-Class matches. Not only Indian players but a host of players from other teams have experience of First-Class cricket.
Jason Sanga will captain Australia in the World Cup. He has already played First-Class matches and became the second youngest cricketer to score a century against England. Then there is Mujeeb Zadran of Afghanistan who has already impressed everyone with his spin bowling by taking four wickets on his T20I debut. Pakistan have Shaheen Afridi who took eight wickets in a Quad-E-Azam Trophy game and also Hasan Khan who has played in the Pakistan Super League.
There are three-high profile players as well. Austin Waugh will be part of the Australia team. He is the son of former captain Steve Waugh. Similarly, Thando Ntini will also be closely watched as he is the son of former South Africa pacer Makhaya Ntini. Apart from these two, Cricket Australia CEO James Sutherland’s son Will is also in the squad.
Here’s a look at the Squads of all 16 teams participating in the U-19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand from January 13 to February 4.
India: Prithvi Shaw, Shubman Gill, Aryan Juyal, Abhishek Sharma, Arshdeep Singh, Harvik Desai, Manjot Kalra, Kamlesh Nagarkoti, Pankaj Yadav, Riyan Parag, Ishan Porel, Himanshu Rana, Anukul Roy, Shivam Mavi, Shiva Singh.
Pakistan: Hasan Khan, Rohail Nazir , Mohammad Ali Khan, Ali Zaryab, Ammad Alam, Arshad Iqbal, Imran Shah, Mohammad Taha, Muhammad Mohsin Khan, Muhammad Musa, Muhammad Zaid, Munir Riaz, Saad Khan, Shaheen Afridi, Suleman Shafqat.
Bangladesh: Saif Hassan, Afif Hossain, Aminul Islam, Hasan Mahmud, Mahidul Islam Ankon, Mohammad Naim, Mohammad Rakib, Nayeem Hasan, Pinak Ghosh, Qazi Onik, Robiul Hoque, Roni Hossen , Shakil Hossain, Tipu Sultan, Towhid Hridoy.
Sri Lanka: Kamindu Mendis, Jehan Daniel, Krishan Sanjula, Ashen Bandara, Hareen Buddila, Hasitha Boyagoda, Nipun Dananjaya, Thisaru Rashmika, Nawanidu Fernando, Santhush Gunathilaka, Praveen Jayawickrama, Dhananjaya Lakshan, Nishan Madushka, Nipun Malinga, Kalana Perera.
Afghanistan: Naveen-ul-Haq, Azmatullah Omarzai, Baheer Shah, Darwish Rasooli, Ikram Ali Khil, Mohammad Ibrahim, Mujeeb Zadran, Nisar Wahdat, Qais Ahmad, Rahmanullah, Tariq Stanikzai, Wafadar ,Waqarullah Ishaq, Yousuf Zazai, Zahir Khan.
Australia: Jason Sangha, Will Sutherland, Xavier Bartlett, Max Bryant, Jack Edwards, Zak Evans, Jarrod Freeman, Ryan Hadley, Baxter Holt, Nathan McSweeney, Jonathan Merlo, Lloyd Pope, Jason Ralston, Param Uppal, Austin Waugh.
New Zealand: Kaylum Boshier, Finn Allen, Jakob Bhula, Max Chu, Katene Clarke, Matthew Fisher, Luke Georgeson, Ben Lockrose, Callum McLachlan, Felix Murray, Dale Phillips, Rachin Ravindra, Sandeep Patel, Connor Sullivan, Todd Watson.
Canada: Arslan Khan, Akash Gill, Ashtan Deosammy, Emanuel Khokhar, Kavian Naress, Kevin Singh, Pranav Sharma, Randhir Sandhu, Krishen Samuel, Faisal Jamkhandi, Arshdeep Dhaliwal, Rishiv Joshi, Aran Pathmanathan, Pieter Pretorius, Rommel Shazad.
England: Harry Brook, Ethan Bamber, Liam Banks, Tom Banton, Jack Davies, Adam Finch, Luke Hollman, Will Jacks, Tom Lammonby, Dillon Pennington, Savin Perera, Tom Scriven, Prem Sisodiya, Fin Trenouth, Roman Walker.
Ireland: Harry Tector, Ian Anders, Aaron Cawley, Varun Chopra, Mark Donegan, JJ Garth, Jamie Grassi, Reece Kelly, Graham Kennedy, Joshua Little, Sam Murphy, Max Neville, Neil Rock, Morgan Topping, Andrew Vincent.
Kenya: Sachin Bhudia, Maxwel Ager, Abhishekh Chidambaran, Aveet Desai, Jay Doshi, Aman Gandhi, Ankit Hirani , Jasraj Kundi, Jayant Mepani, Gerard Mwendwa, Dennis Musyoka, Thomas Ochieng, Sukhdeep Singh, Siddharth Vasudev, Rene Were.
Papua New Guinea: Sema Kamea, Eisa Eka, James Tau, Tau Toa Nou, Nou Rarua, Igo Mahuru, Simon Atai, Leke Morea, Vagi Karaho, Kevau Tau, Heagi Toua, Daure Aiga, Ovia Sam, Sinaka Arua, Boge Arua.
Namibia: Lohan Louwrens, Henry Brink, Petrus Burger, Jan-Izak de Villiers, Shaun Fouche, Jurgen Linde, Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Gerhard Lottering, Erich van Mollendorf, Dewald Nell, Mauritius Ngupita, Ben Shikongo, Floris Steenkamp, Ramon Wilmot, Eben van Wyk.
South Africa: Raynard van Tonder, Matthew Breetzke , Gerald Coetzee, Jade de Klerk, Jean du Plessism, Fraser Jones, Wandile Makwetu, Akhona Mnyaka, Andile Mokgakane, Kgaudisa Molefe, Jason Niemand, Thando Ntini, Jiveshan Pillay, Hermann Rolfes, Kenan Smith.
West Indies: Emmanuel Stewart, Kirstan Kallicharan, Ronaldo Alimohamed, Alick Athanaze, Cephas Cooper, Jarion Hoyte, Kimani Melius, Ashmead Nedd, Kian Pemberton, Raymond Perez, Joshua Persaud, Jeavor Royal, Keagan Simmons, Bhaskar Yadram, Nyeem Young.
Zimbabwe: Liam Roche, Robert Chimhinya, Jonathan Connolly, Gregory Dollar, Alistair Frost, Taun Harrison, Wesley Madhevere, Tanunurwa Makoni, Donald Mlambo, Dion Myers, Tinashe Nenhunzi, Nkosilatu Nunu, Kieran Robinson, Jayden Schadendorf, Milton Shumba.