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Thursday, January 28, 2016

U19 Cricket World Cup is on .... ICC T20 WC to follow !

The inaugural event was titled the McDonald's Bicentennial Youth World Cup, and was held in 1988 as part of the Australian Bicentenary celebrations. The tournament was notable for the number of future international players who competed. Nasser Hussain; Mike Atherton; Venkatapathy Raju, Chris Cairns, Mushtaq Ahmed and Inzamam-ul-Haq; Sanath Jayasuriya, Brian Lara, Ridley Jacobs, Jimmy Adams – went on to represent their Nations. 

Indian cricket fans rejoiced further on Nation’s Republic Day with a win over Australia in T20 in a match that saw Ashish Nehra playing after 4 years and Yuvraj Singh too making a come back.  Tomorrow, India play their 2nd T20 at Melbourne.

Meantime lot happening in neighbouring Bangladesh – the U19 World Cup played in front of empty stands.  Today Nepal U-19 pulled off a dramatic 32-run win over New Zealand U-19 in a thrilling encounter in Fatullah. Nepal posted a total of 238 and then defended it by bowling New Zealand out for 206. Nepal have a win-loss record of 11-3 while defending totals of 150 or more. Five of those wins have come against Full Members.

Half-centuries from Sarfaraz Khan and Washington Sundar helped India U-19 overcome a dodgy start and beat Ireland U-19by 79 runs and record their 11th win on the trot.  In the opener, Bangladesh U19 scored 240, which their bowlers defended with ease despite a hundred from the South Africa U19 opener Liam Smith.

It is “ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup”  an international cricket tournament contested by national under-19 teams. First contested in 1988, the World Cup has been held as a biennial event, organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC). The first edition of the tournament had only eight participants, but every subsequent edition has included sixteen teams. Australia and India have both won the World Cup three times, while Pakistan have won twice and England and South Africa once each. Three other teams – New Zealand, Sri Lanka, and the West Indies – have made a tournament final without going on to win. 

The first win for India came way back on 28th Jan 2000 at Sinhalese Sports Club.  Indians were captained by Mohd Kaif and the playing X1 was Manish Sharma, R Ricky, Yuvraj Singh, RS Sodhi, NK Patel, Ajay Ratra, Y Venugopala Rao, AM Dave, MB Tripathi & SJ Srivastava.  In Mar 2008, we again won at Kualalumpur represented by Taruvar Kohli, Srivats Goswami, T Srivastava, Virat Kohli*, Sourabh Tiwary, Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja, Iqbal Abdulla, Pradeep Sangwan, S Kaul & AK Argal. More recently in 2012 India won at Townsville with the team captained by Unmukt Chand, P Chopra, Baba Aparajit, G Vihari, VH Zol, Smit Patel, AD Nath, Harmeet Singh, Passi, Ravikant Singh & Sandeep Sharma.

The present version, the 11th one -  2016 ICC Cricket WC is held in Bangladesh from 22 January to 14 February 2016.  16 teams are in the fray, 4 groups – with 2 moving to next round.  On 5 January 2016, Cricket Australia announced that the Australian U19 squad had pulled out of the tournament, citing security concerns. Ireland is their replacement.

Shortly after comes the 2016 ICC World T20 WC to be held in India between 8th Mar and 3rd April. Sri Lanka are the defending champions.

The one at the start of the post is Meg Lanning touted by some to be female Chris Gayle for her ability to win matches single-handedly.  Like Gayle, she averages more than a run a ball in Twenty20 internationals, and regularly smashes bowlers all over the ground with the carefree panache.  

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

28th Jan 2016.

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