The ICC U-19 World Cup is a tournament where youngsters have an opportunity to showcase their skills. The final result doesn't matter as much as the discovery of new talent.
Many international stars have featured for their respective nations at the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup before making their senior team appearances. Some examples include Michael Clarke, Shakib Al Hasan, Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Yuvraj Singh.
However, there are those whose dreams and aspirations did not quite translate into long term success. Tanmay Srivastava, a key player in India's 2008 ICC U19 World Cup, quit the game last year.
Smit Patel recently decided to quit the BCCI system and try his luck elsewhere. He played a crucial knock for India in the 2012 ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup final win. The 2012 tournament featured players whose international careers never took off or ran aground due to several reasons.
WIthout further ado, let's have a look at three players whose careers crashed before they took off.
1. Unmukt Chand
None other than former Australian skipper Ian Chappell has talked up the chances of Unmukt Chand's international career. This in the wake of India's win in the 2012 ICC U-19 World Cup final in which the batter was in exceptional form.
Unmukt Chand was the Indian captain in the ICC U-19 World Cup. He had a decent ICC U-19 World Cup with the bat, scoring 246 runs at an average of 49.2. His most remarkable contribution came in the final when he played a captain's knock of 111 not out against Australia. Chasing a target of 226 runs, India won the game by a comfortable margin of six wickets.
However, Unmukt's career after the ICC U-19 World Cup never took off.
A first-class average of 31.57 after 67 appearances showed that Unmukt Chand never made it to the Indian Ranji scene. He shifted base to Uttarakhand before returning to Delhi's big squad for the 2021 Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy. However, he didn't appear in any of the games for Delhi.
There were rumors about Unmukt Chand shifting base to the USA, but the batter quickly quashed them.
2. Sami Aslam:
Pakistan's opener appeared not only in two ICC U-19 Cricket World Cups. These were the 2012 and 2014 ICC U-19 World Cups, leading his team to the finals in the latter edition.
The youngster was pushed to the international stage by selectors. The left-hander gave a creditable performance for Pakistan. He played 13 Tests and scored 758 runs at an average of 31.58.
However, this wasn't enough for him to keep his place in the Pakistan team. He recently quit Pakistani cricket and blamed the culture of favoritism as the main reason for his refusal to continue pursuing cricket in Pakistan.
He has now moved to the USA, where he will be eligible to play from November 2023.
3. Cameron Bancroft:
The Australian opener shouldn't have been a part of the list in ideal circumstances. The talented youngster had scored 196 runs at an average of 39.2 in the 2012 ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup.
Gradually, he became part of the Australian cricketing setup and seemed to be the answer to their never-ending quest for an opening partner for David Warner. There were no issues with his form and no trouble with favoritism.
Then there was the Newlands ball-tampering controversy that happened.
Cameron Bancroft, the youngest of the trio, found himself receiving unprecedented sanctions from Cricket Australia. While Bancroft was the first to return to domestic cricket, he has played only two Tests since his return to cricket.
His chances of a comeback have been affected by the rise of new opening options like Will Pucovski and Marcus Harris.
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