The U-19 Cricket World Cup is the first major international tournament that a cricketer aims to play. Initially, the competition was known as the Youth World Cup. The first edition of this tournament took place back in 1988. The second edition followed in 1998, with the competition being renamed as the ICC U-19 World Cup.
Since 1998, the ICC has conducted this competition once every two years. Bangladesh are the defending champions of the ICC U-19 World Cup. The Bangla Tigers won the championship by defeating India U-19s in the final last year.
Many current superstars of the cricket world were part of the 2006 U-19 World Cup
Speaking of U-19 World Cups, quite a few world-class cricketers participated in the 2006 edition of the tournament, hosted by Sri Lanka. The likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Shakib Al Hasan, Angelo Mathews, David Warner, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard and Sean Williams played in the U-19 World Cup of 2006.
Ravikant Shukla captained India in the 2006 U-19 World Cup. However, he could not play international cricket at the senior level. The captains of five other squads have now become cricketing stars. In this article, we will look at those five players.
#1 Moeen Ali
England all-rounder Moeen Ali was the skipper of the England U-19s in the 2006 U-19 World Cup. Under Ali's leadership, England reached the tournament's semifinals where they lost to India.
Ali scored 109 runs and picked up three wickets for England U-19s in the 2006 U-19 World Cup. He is currently one of the best spin-bowling all-rounders in England.
#2 Mushfiqur Rahim
Mushfiqur Rahim captained the Bangladesh U-19s squad in 2006 U-19 World Cup. The Bangladesh U-19s lost to England U-19s in the quarterfinal phase of the competition.
Rahim performed decently for the team, scoring 188 runs in six matches. His batting average was 37.60, while he took six catches and executed two stumpings. After a brilliant performance in U-19 World Cup 2006, Rahim captained Bangladesh in international cricket at the senior level later in his career.
#3 Eoin Morgan
Moeen Ali now plays under the captaincy of Eoin Morgan in ODIs and T20Is. However, back in 2006, the two players were leading two different nations.
While Ali captained England U-19s, Morgan led the Ireland U-19s. Ireland lost all matches in the group stage, but Morgan ended the tournament as the second-highest run-getter with 338 runs in six innings. He is currently the captain of England in white-ball cricket.
#4 Sarfaraz Ahmed
Sarfaraz Ahmed guided Pakistan U-19s to the U-19 World Cup title in 2006. Under his captaincy, the Boys in Green defeated arch-rivals India in the summit clash to win the trophy.
Ahmed did not have a memorable tournament with the willow. He managed 64 runs in six matches at a strike rate of 52.45. Later in his career, Ahmed captained the senior Pakistan cricket team and helped them win the Champions Trophy 2017 by defeating India in the final again.
#5 Dean Elgar
Dean Elgar captained South Africa U-19s in 2006 U-19 World Cup. Unfortunately, the Proteas could not make it through to the group stage as they finished third in Group B, also featuring Australia U-19s, West Indies U-19s and USA U-19s.
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Elgar was the most successful batsman of his team. He amassed 246 runs in five matches at an average of 61.50. Earlier this year, Cricket South Africa named him as the new skipper of their Test team.