OPPORTUNITY FOR REGION'S YOUNG STARS TO SHOWCASE THEIR SKILLS

Since 1989, the Asian Cricket Council has provided a platform for the region’s youth to showcase their skills in the Under-19 Asia Cup and the eighth edition of the prestigious event will take place in Sri Lanka from 5th September to 14th with the participation of eight teams.

Taking place mostly in and around Colombo, Asia’s young players will be treated to some of the finest cricketing facilities in the world. P. Sara Oval, the only ground in Asia where Sir Don Bradman has played, will host the curtain-raiser of the competition with Pakistan taking on Afghanistan while the grand final will take place at R.  Premadasa Stadium, the venue for the ICC World T-20 finals in 2012.

Colombo Cricket Club ground and Moratuwa are two other Test grounds that will host games alongside Marians Cricket Club grounds in Katunayake.

India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and UAE are pooled in Group ‘A’ while Group ‘B’ comprises Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, UAE and Nepal.

India have dominated the competition having won the title on five occasions and once they were join-champions alongside Pakistan after the final was tied. Afghanistan won the event in 2017 beating Pakistan in the final when Malaysia hosted the event.

Over the years, teams have used the Asia Cup as a warm-up for the ICC Under-19 World Cup picking players who are eligible for the global event. The next under-19 World Cup will take place in South Africa in 2020 and most players who will feature in this edition of the Asia Cup will be expecting to prove their case before the big challenge in South Africa.

Some famous names have done well in past events of the Under-19 Asia Cup. Afghanistan owed their win in 2017 to Mujeeb ur Rahman, who helped his side defeat Pakistan in the final with a five wicket haul. He has gone onto have a successful career for Afghanistan senior side and currently he is playing for Middlesex in County Cricket.

Sanju Sampson, who has made quite an impact with IPL franchise Rajastan Royals, scored a match winning hundred in the 2014 final against Sri Lanka.

Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq featured for Pakistan in the 2012 tied final against India, who had Unmukt Chand and Baba Aparjith.

A strong Sri Lankan side featuring Angelo Mathews, Upul Tharanga and Farveez Maharoof represented Sri Lanka in the 2003 final while India had Robin Uthappa, Suresh Raina and Irfan Pathan.

Two of the game’s finest openers Sourav Ganguly and Marvan Atapattu also featured in the finals of the inaugural edition of the tournament in 1989.

Many greats like Inzmamul Haq, Virat Kohli, Brian Lara and many more have had their moments in U19 Asia Cups over the years and it is time for the new generation to stake claims for glory in two weeks time.

 

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Filed August 26th, 2019