History of ICC U19 Cricket World Cup
Cricket’s finest young talent will be on display when the 11th edition of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup is played across four cities in Bangladesh from 27 January to 14 February 2016.The tournament, now a full-fledged biennial marquee event after taking its first tentative steps in 1988, is the stepping stone for wide-eyed youngsters towards fulfilling their dream of playing at the highest level.Players get a first-hand exposure of performing in front of live cameras and competing against rivals who they will come across again if they make the next grade to senior cricket.Eight of the 10 current Test captains have learnt the nuances and finer points of the sport at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup. The lone exceptions are Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq and AB de Villiers of South Africa.The upcoming tournament will feature nine Test-playing nations and seven Associate and Affiliate members – Afghanistan, Canada, Fiji, Ireland, Namibia, Nepal and Scotland.Here we take a look at the history of the U-19 Cricket World cup since its inception in 1988 till the last tournament played in 2014.
A brainchild of the then Australian Cricket Board’s General Manager, Graham Halbish, the inaugural ICC U19 Cricket World Cup – then named as the Youth World Cup – was staged across venues in Victoria and South Australia.
The tournament featured seven Test nations – Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the West Indies – besides an ICC Associates squad that comprised four players from Zimbabwe and two each from Bangladesh, Bermuda, Canada, Denmark and the Netherlands.
Among those who took part in the inaugural event and went on to become international captains were Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain of England, Lee Germon of New Zealand, Inzamam-ul-Haq of Pakistan, Brian Lara, Jimmy Adams, and Ridley Jacobs from the West Indies and Sri Lanka’s Sanath Jayasuriya.
Other star players included Mark Ramprakash of England, Aminul Islam of Bangladesh, India’s Narendra Hirwani, the Pakistani trio of Mushtaq Ahmed, Basit Ali and Aqib Javed, and Romesh Kaluwitharana and Chandika Hathurusinghe from Sri Lanka.
The tournament was played on a single league format with Australia and Pakistan qualifying for the final by topping the league. The host avenged their defeat at Pakistan’s hands in the league to bag the title with a five-wicket win at the Adelaide Oval.
Australia’s Brett Williams was the tournament’s leading scorer with 471 runs, while team-mate Wayne Holdsworth and Pakistan’s Mushtaq Ahmed headed the bowlers’ list with 19 wickets apiece.