Undoubtedly, the launching pad for the young cricketers, the ICC Under-19 World Cup over the years has witnessed many cricketers elevating to the next level with some exemplary performances.
However, for every successful transition, there were several stories of failures as well. Some exemplary performers in the Under-19 World Cups failed to live up to their expectations afterwards and saw their careers in doldrums.
Also, there has been the case of supply overweighing demand and that has hurt some promising young talents to prosper.
So we thought of going down the memory lane and finding out about the ones who became the highest wicket-takers in the 11 editions of the tournament so far. The highest wicket-taker of the 2016 edition was Fritz Coetzee for Namibia who took 15 wickets at an impressive average of 15.93 and earned praises for his immaculate line and length.
The young left-arm medium-fast bowler inspired Namibia to finish 7th in the 2016 edition of the Under-19 World Cup. But what about the other 10? What are they doing now? Let’s have a look:
1988 – Wayne Holdsworth and Mushtaq Ahmed
A genuine fast bowler, Holdsworth took 19 wickets to inspire the Aussies to win the inaugural edition of the Under-19 World Cup in their own backyard but failed to make his debut for the national team.
The New South Wales bowler, Holdsworth had his best season in 1992/93, when he claimed 53 first-class wickets to help New South Wales to victory in the Shield final against Queensland. This performance led to his inclusion in the 1993 Ashes touring squad, during which he claimed a hat-trick against Derbyshire but to add to his disappointment, he failed to make his debut for the national side.
Known to be a player of the golden generation of New South Wales cricket, Holdsworth is now into coaching and he is also the National Sales Manager of the FAL Healthy Beverages Pty Ltd.
The other person who also picked up 19 wickets to finish as the joint highest wicket-taker in the 1988 edition was Mushtaq Ahmed. The Pakistan leg-spinner later went on to play for Pakistan and recorded some incredible performances for them.
A genuine match-winner ‘Mushie’ played 52 Tests and 144 ODIs for Pakistan and picked up 185 and 161 wickets respectively. He was very successful for Sussex in the English county cricket and later he also became the spin-bowling coach of the England national team.
Since 2014, Mushtaq had been a part of the Pakistan coaching staff and team management in various capacities.