Youngsters set for Under-19 World Cup

Chance for future stars to show their talent as the tourney gets underway on Friday.

INDIAN CAPTAIN: Vijay ZolDubai (IANS): Future stars will get a chance to show their talent, potential and prowess when the ICC U-19 World Cup gets underway across the United Arab Emirates Friday.

The tournament has provided impetus to the careers of stalwarts like Michael Atherton, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Nasser Hussain, Brian Lara, Sanath Jayasuriya and Graeme Smith as well as current stars like Ahmed Shahzad, Alastair Cook, Quinton de Kock, Shikhar Dhawan, Chris Gayle, Virat Kohli, Angelo Mathews, Shakib Al Hasan, Steven Smith and Ross Taylor, among others.

It is one of the most important and keenly followed cricketing events where teenagers get a taste of international experience, pressure and exposure and also receive training and education on anti-doping and anti-corruption.

This year’s event carries extra significance as it is taking place a year before the 2015 ICC World Cup. A lot of cricketers will be looking to excel here so that they can catch the eye of their national selectors and earn the honour of representing their countries in the sport’s biggest extravaganza which will be staged in Australia and New Zealand from Feb 14 to March 1 next year.


THE GROUPS


The 16 teams in the U-19 World Cup have been divided in four groups:

Group A: India, Pakistan, Scotland and Papua New Guinea
Group B: Australia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Namibia
Group C: South Africa, Zimbabwe, West Indies and Canada.
Group D: New Zealand, England, Sri Lanka and United Arab Emirates

The top two teams from each group will progress to the Super League quarterfinals while the bottom two will qualify for the Plate Championship quarterfinals.

On the opening day, four matches will be played with 1998 champions England taking on UAE at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Zimbabwe facing Canada at Abu Dhabi Oval 1, New Zealand squaring off against Sri Lanka at Sharjah Cricket Stadium and South Africa and the West Indies going head to head at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

INDIA FAVOURITES


India, also the holders of the World Cup and the Champions Trophy, will seek to defend the junior title in the 16-day tournament where 48 matches will be played. India have previously won the crown under Mohammad Kaif in 2000, Kohli in 2008 and Unmukt Chand in 2012 but unlike Pakistan, their opponent in Saturday’s match here, they have never won back-to-back titles.

India seems to have strong credentials as only a month ago here, they won the U-19 Asia Cup defeating Pakistan in the final. Last year in July, it also won the U-19 tri-series featuring Australia and New Zealand and beat Sri Lanka in August in a bilateral series. They also won theU-19 quadrangular series, involving South Africa, Australia and Zimbabwe.

However, the final build-up for India has been far from ideal as they lost both their warm-up matches to Sri Lanka (by five wickets) and South Africa (five wickets).

“We are really confident about our chances. We have won in the past and also the recently concluded Asia Cup. So we are carrying the momentum with us. Everybody is looking in good nick and working hard and we are looking forward to playing in the tournament," India captain Vijay Zol said.

“Pakistan is a good team. They have been doing well on the U-19 circuit but we have managed to beat them. Recently, we beat them in the Asia Cup final that was also played here. We are very confident about playing against them.”

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Royal test for Kings

Royal test for Kings

Preview — Clash of philosophies between Australia-centric teams More »

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Duminy steals first win for Delhi

Furious fifties by Duminy and Dinesh Karthik end a long losing streak for the Daredevils. More »

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

AB, Parthiv seal Bangalore's second win

Royal Challengers overcame a stutter to cruise to the small target they were set by Mumbai Indians. More »

‘Felt like helpless minority’

‘Felt like helpless minority’

Former BCCI treasurer Ajay Shirke says emotions got the better of the Srinivasan and he tried to oversimplify things by calling Meiyappan an “enthusia… More »

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell carves his parallel universe

Glenn Maxwell seems to project an icy disdain when at the crease. Match situations rarely faze him and the bubble in which he plays excludes everyone … More »

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

No way back for Pietersen: ECB

Kevin Pietersen's hopes of reviving his international career appeared to end Saturday when ECB managing director Paul Downton said there was 'no way back'… More »

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

Srinivasan can attend BCCI meeting

His status as president of TNCA makes him eligible to attend the Working Committee meeting on Sunday. More »

The world record that nearly wasn't

The world record that nearly wasn't

Twenty years ago this week, Brian Lara became Test cricket's highest scorer, but he almost didn't make it. More »

Moores gets second stint as England coach

Moores gets second stint as England coach

In a two-year spell from 2007 to 2009, the 51-year-old Moores led England in seven Test series. More »

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

BCCI is not anybody’s property — Dalmiya

Dalmiya feels that Srinivasan’s ‘power hungry’ attitude isn’t helping matters. More »

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

Tough for bowlers: Saeed Ajmal

The 36-year-old believes the T20 format and rule changes in 50-over matches have made a real difference. More »

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh senior players to see shrink

Bangladesh's senior players will have three sessions with a psychological skill development coach later this month More »

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

KP ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

BCCI members want independent probe

BCCI members want independent probe

The board members are realising after the Supreme Court's observations that something has to be done — IS Bindra More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

'BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srini'

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Delhi look for first points against confident Kolkata

Preview — The threat of Sunil Narine looms large again. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Preview — Given the firepower in both line-ups, Dubai crowd may see another high-scorer More »

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »