5 forgotten U-19 World Cup stars of India
- With the 2020 U-19 World Cup currently underway in South Africa, we go back in time and look at five forgotten Indian U-19 World Cup stars.
#2. Reetinder Singh Sodhi
Another lost talent from the 2000 batch. The spirited Reetinder Singh Sodhi was the player of the final as India won the trophy beating hosts, Sri Lanka, by six wickets. He conceded only 26 runs in his 10 overs, and then scored an unbeaten 39 from 43 to lead India to the title triumph. In the tournament, Sodhi contributed 134 runs in eight games at an average of 33.50, and also bowled some tight spells. He was brilliant in the field as well.
Having made a name for his dedication and effervescence, Singh was handed an India debut in December 2000. However, Sodhi failed to live up to expectations. In 18 ODIs, he managed only 280 runs at an average of 25.45, and five wickets at an average of 73. He played his last ODI for India in November 2002 and, with no comeback in the offing, tried his hand at the Indian Cricket League (ICL). Sodhi went on to become one of the youngest match-referees in India.
#3. Amit Bhandari
Former medium-pacer Amit Bhandari impressed in the 1998 edition of the U-19 World Cup. He ended up as India’s highest wicket-taker in the event with 11 wickets in six matches at an average of 15.18 and a strike rate of 22.3.
Just a couple of years later, he made his debut with the senior Indian side. It was a forgettable debut though as he was taken for 75 runs in 10 overs against Pakistan at Dhaka in June 2000 even though he claimed two wickets. He played his second match for India after four years. And even though he claimed 3 for 31 against Zimbabwe at Perth in February 2004, he never turned out in Indian colours again.
Bhandari had an impressive first-class career, with 314 wickets in 95 matches for Delhi at an average of 26.78. He later turned Delhi chief selector, and last made news in February 2019 when he was assaulted for not picking a player.Published 19 Jan 2020, 19:37 IST