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Reminiscing about his trophy-winning campaign in the under-19 World Cup in 2000, Indian all-rounder Yuvraj Singh admitted that the youth tournament helped him develop as an international cricketer.
Talking to the International Cricket Council, he said, "I played in big crowds, I played in big moments, in big pressure situations, in situations that made a good cricketer out of me and a fierce competitor. That helped me in my international career."
“The conditions are going to be different. Enjoy them and prepare well," was his advice to the Indian team that will be traveling to New Zealand for the tournament next year.
In case you didn't know..
Singh was the Man of the Tournament in India's successful stint at the World Cup under Mohammad Kaif in 2000.
It saw him make his name amongst the ranks and in the competition, which was held in Colombo.
Singh picked New Zealand and India as favourites to win the coveted trophy.
He believes that the Indian team has an excellent coach in Rahul Dravid, and that the youngsters will benefit under his tutelage. He signed off saying that the young cricketers participating in the World Cup should make the most of their time in New Zealand, give their cent percent in the tournament, and build special memories for themselves on the trip.
The under-19 World Cup will be held from January 13 to February 3. Prithvi Shaw has been named as the captain of the Indian unit, with right-handed batsma Shubham Gill taking over as his deputy. India will play their first game of the tournament against Australia on January 14.
Yuvraj Singh, on the other hand, will look to make a comeback into the Indian side for the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka. He has recently cleared the yo-yo fitness test, which has been his nemesis for some time, and is now waiting for a call-up to the national side.
The under-19 World Cup definitely is a breeding ground for aspiring international cricketers and has churned out some talented players over the years. Indian success stories from this tournament include big names like Singh, Kaif, Virat Kohli and Ravindra Jadeja, to name a few.
It is imperative for the Indian cricketing fanbase to extend its support for the youngsters participating in the tournament. These will be the biggest international competitions that they will compete in, and thus, fans must provide encouragement for them.