|Singapore, ACC U-16 Elite Cup 2010 Winners|
Malaysia’s a good place for cricket. Lush, plush grounds, turf you can slide, dive and give your best on, wickets that are fair to both bat and ball. Cricketers love being here, barring the occasional thunderstorm and high humidity. The two grounds used in this year’s ACC U-16 Elite Bayuemas and Kinrara are among the best in any non-Test nation, good enough for ODIs. The region’s best schoolboys will have use of them this month in a tournament that will highlight not just how good they are but how good the systems that made them are.
Defending champions are captained by match-winner in the 2010 Final off-spinner Navin Param and he, along with other spinners in the event are going to find themselves as front-line bowlers. Young batsmen not only struggle against spin, they struggle against spin particularly when they hardly practise or play on it. And that means half of the other eight teams in the competition.
“Footwork is the one thing that sets a good batsman apart from the rest,” says Malaysia-based ACC Development Officer Aminul Islam, “any boy who is bigger than the others at youth level will have an impact, score runs and take wickets, but when everyone is the same size, when everything else is equal footwork and game sense are what is going to win matches.”
Captained by another 2010 alumnus cricketer Dipendra Chand, Nepal have a very seasoned team who have been practising solidly for a month prior to arriving in Kuala Lumpur. They have every chance of going all the way, though Singapore are also likely to shine. Form is temporary, class is permanent. A number of these players have already proven themselves in domestic and international cricket. Quite a few more, the Arab players from the Middle East and those from Iran and Thailand could well do the same. Much to play for by these standard-bearers. Much to look forward to.
Score updates on the Asian Cricket Council facebook page
ACC U1-6 Elite Tournament Page
Filed May 3rd, 2012