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ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup 2010: U-19 WC starts today..

ICC U-19 Cup

The ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup (U-19 CWC) gets underway in New Zealand today with 16 teams vying for the highest honour in international youth cricket. A global audience of millions, through ESPN-STAR Sports, will watch defending champions and cricketing powerhouse India take on debutants Afghanistan at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Christchurch.
Bangladesh take the field tomorrow when they play against Papua New Guinea at the Fitzherbert Park in Napier. Bangladesh have also Pakistan and West Indies in their group. Bangladesh left for New Zealand with a target of finishing among top four, a feat they have never been able to achieve.

And they started their campaign in the right vein defeating hosts New Zealand and Australia in their two warm-up matches. Bangladesh skipper Mahmudul Hasan pointed out pace bowling as the only point of concern.

ICC U-19 World Cup Team Captain

Since its earliest days the tournament has been a springboard for young talent. The very first U19 CWC introduced a host of future stars including Brian Lara, Inzamamul Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed and Sanath Jayasuriya. It was to be a sign of things to come as the tournament has always provided the perfect opportunity for young prodigies to show their talent.

Australia (1988 and 2002), India (2000 and 2008) and Pakistan (2004 and 2006) have won the event twice each, while England won the tournament in 1998 in South Africa. Sri Lanka have hosted the event twice (2000 and 2006) and New Zealand is hosting the event for the second time this year having already done so in 2002.

ICC U-19 Cup Ceremony

Host nations haven't fared as well as one would expect, with Australia the only side to win the tournament at home. Apart from Australia, Sri Lanka (2000) are the only home side to have reached the final. In 1998, South Africa were unlucky to miss out on a spot in the final after losing to Sri Lanka during the Super League. New Zealand could only qualify for the Super Eight stage at home in 2002, despite boasting future stars such as Ross Taylor and Jesse Ryder.

Tournament officials pose with the trouphy during the opening ceremony of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup at Christchurch Art Gallery

In 2004, Bangladesh were beaten by New Zealand and India in group play, qualifying for the Plate competition which they won. Sri Lanka finished sixth in 2006, losing to India in group play and Australia in the quarterfinal. Associate team Malaysia hosted the tournament in 2008, losing to Pakistan and New Zealand but beating Zimbabwe in Group A, then losing to Namibia and Zimbabwe in 13th-place playoffs.

Ireland's Eoin Morgan, who now plays for England, remains the tournament's leading run-scorer with 606 at an average of 50.50 over the two events he played in (2004, 2006). Morgan scored two hundreds and three fifties in 13 innings, with a top-score of 124 against New Zealand in 2006. India's Shikhar Dhawan holds the record for the most runs in one event, with 505 runs in just seven innings during the 2004 tournament in Bangladesh. 

Source: The Daily Star
Friday, January 15, 2010


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