Recently, Shariq posted an article on RSC which talked about
an Indian under-19 team which visited Pakistan 4-5 years ago.
Indeed, from the many familiar names mentioned, Jadeja seems
to be the only one who has represented India on the inter-
national circuit. However, I was quite surprised to see
Shariq mention that the Indian under-19 side totally "outshone
the Pakistani side." This is mainly because a few weeks back,
I happened to come across an article in a Pakistani Cricketer
Issue which talked of the Youth World Cup '88 (Australia)
where the Pakistani under-20 performed really well only to
lose to the Australians in the final.
It was the Australians who innovated the notion of a Youth
World Cup, and as a consequence, the first tourney of such
kind was organized as part of the country's Bicentennial
celebrations. All of the then seven full members of the
International Cricket Council (ICC) sent their under-20 (or
was 21?) teams to Australia to participate in the competition.
In addition, as a promotional venture, there was also an
ICC Associates team which was comprised of players drawn from
six associate-member countries including Zimbabwe, Bangladesh,
Canada, Denmark, Holland and Bermuda.
The Australian youth side emulated the World Cup-winning
achievement of their senior counterparts by clinching the
trophy defeating the Pakistanis in the final. The home team
were a powerful and well-balanced combination but obviously
had the advantage of playing on familiar conditions. They
lost only one match in the earlier round-robin matches, and
that too, to the eventual runners-up, Pakistan.
Australia and Pakistan met in the final by virtue of their wins
over England and West Indies, respectively, in the sem-finals.
The most disappointing team was probably England who fielded
a relatively more reputed side with lots of experience in
county cricket. The Sri Lankans surprised many, finishing
fifth in the tournament, ahead of New Zealand and India. Not
so surprising was the notable fact that the ICC Associates
finished last, losing all their matches.
All the participating teams consisted of four*** players each,
the only Test player in the competition being India's leg-
spinning prodigy, Narendra Hirwani, who had a modest tournamemt.
However, a brief glance through the rosters of each individual
team reveals many players who had or have been tipped to join
their respective national sides. In fact, an approximate count
reveals about 28 cricketers from among them who have graduated
to international cricket and many others who are established
as prominent first-class cricketers.
Surprisingly though, the best side of the tournament, Australia,
has the lowest ratio of elevations to the national squad. Only
one player, pace bowler Wayne Holdsworth has reached the top.
Holdsworth toured England in the past summer with Allan Border's
all-conquering side. Holdsworth, pacey and erratic, is yet to
be capped in a Test match or even a One-day International.
In the 1988 Youth World Cup competition, Holdsworth was the
joint-highest wicket-keeper alongwith Pakistan's leg spinner
Mushtaq Ahmed. However, Holdsworth's 19 wickets were claimed
at a much cheaper rate and he was also placed on top of the
The other players who made the grade in first-class cricket are
opening batsman Stuart Law, leg-spinner Adrian Tucker, all-
rounder Joe Scuderi and paceman Allan Mullally. Among this
quartet, Joe Scuderi narrowly missed selection for the recent
England tour when Brendon Julian was chosen ahead of him. The
two leading lights of the World Cup, skipper Glenn Parker and
opener Brett Williams, who scored a dazzling hundred in the
final, fizzled out without making much impact in the first-
class cricket scene.
For the runners-up, Pakistan, the batting and bowling averages
were topped by Inzamamul Haq and Mushtaq Ahmed, respectively.
The West Indian tour sensation, Basit Ali and the pace-bowling
duo of Aaqib Javed and Shakeel Khan were the three others who
earned national recognition later in their careers. In fact,
the coach of the Youth Side, Wasim Raja, had tipped Aaqib,
Mushtaq and wicketkeeper Rifaqat Ali as potential stars of
Pakistani cricket. At least two of these youngsters have
fulfilled the senior Raja's prophecy.
Two other players who can reach the Pakistani first eleven
in the future are the then youth skipper Zahoor Elahi and
dashing middle-order batsman Shahid Nawaz. The National
Bank opener Shahid Anwar was Pakistan's leading run-getter
in the Youth Cup and played a match-winning knock of 76 in
the semi-final against the West Indies. Left-arm spinner
Zulfikar ***had the distinction of being the tournament's
second most economical bowler after England's off-spinner
The recently-concluded Ashes contest featured six players
from the 1988 under-21 English squad. One of these gentle-
men has also risen to the pedestal of captaincy. Yes, the
ex-F.E.C. Mike Atherton was England's captain five years
ago as well albeit at a very different level. In fact,
among the eight skippers of that competition, only two
have made it to the highest level as players, the other
being the 'Prince of Trinidad' Brian Lara. The remaining
six have been pushed into cricketing oblivion.
England's most consistent performer with the bat was
Nasser Hussain and the bowling honors went to Chris Lewis
who occupied second position in the tournament averages
behind the Australian pacer Holdsworth. The London duo from
either side of the Thames, batsman Mark Ramprakash and
medium-pacer Martin Bicknell, also amde their first mark
in the Youth Cup. The other prominent first-class
cricketers were the Kent opener Trevor Ward, the Sussex
off-spinner James Boiling and the Lancashire stumper, Warren
A very intriguing feature of the 1988 Youth Cup was that
England's pace discovery of 1992, Andrew Caddick,
represented New Zealand in that tournament. Instead of
Martin Bicknell, Caddick partnered Chris Cairns at the
bowling crease. Cairns, incidentally, was New Zealand's
leading wicket-taker in that tournament with 15 victims to
For the Kiwis, it was their bowling contingent which
graduated to the national squad in the following years.
Cairns's pace partner was Chris Pringle who once took ten
wickets in Faislabad in a Test match. The Kiwis' batting
was led by all-rounder Shane Thompson who has represented
his country in Tests as well as one-day internationals.
Stu Roberts, a pace bowler, toured Pakistan with the New
Zealand team in 1989-90.
Very much like the Aussies, the majority of the West Indian
squad failed to fulfill their potential. Only two out of the
four*** players have broken through in the formidable West
Indian line-up. Both these players are left-handed batsmen
with entirely different styles--Brian Lara and the Jamaican
Jimmy Adams, in fact, overshadowed Lara in the 1988 Youth
Cup, topping the tournament batting averages table. Lara,
bogged down by the captaincy hassles, had a modest tour then.
Another batting prospect who emerged in that competition was
Ron Holder, who I am quite sure is included in the West
Indian side to tour Sharjah and Sri Lanka later this year.
In addition to Narendra Hirwani, four other players from the
Indian youth squad have made it to the top level. The two
current regulars are the left-arm spinner Venkatapathy Raju
and middle-order debut centurion Praveen Amre. India's pace
attack then was led by Subrato Banerjee and the stumps were
guarded by wicketkeeper-cum opening batsman Nayam Mongia. As
Shariq mentioned in his article, Mongia also toured Pakistan
among the under-19 squad; incidentally he was the vice-captain
of the Indian outfit then and moreover was Kiran More's
understudy on the 1990 tour of England. Mongia was India's
leading batsman in an otherwise thoroughly disappointing
batting performance. Hirwani also failed to live up to his
high billing and could manage only ten expensive wickets as
compared to Mushtaq Ahmed's 19.
To digress a bit, looking at the other names that Shariq
mentions in his article, Jatin Paranjpe is established as
a first-class cricketer in India. Last year in the Ranji's,
playing for Bombay, Paranjpe amassed 523 runs in eight innings
with an average of 74.71 (1 hundred and 3 fifties). Hopefully,
he will manage to secure a place in the national team in the
near future. Jadeja was ousted from the Indian team after the
dismal South African tour, but a posting on RSC yesterday
reveals that he is among the runs again (scoring 170* in the
Duleep's). Well, its high time the selectors take another
look at him.
Ranjib Biswal plays for Orissa these days and has matured into
an all-rounder. However, I do not have statistics for him so
any more information on him will be appreciated.
Winston Zaidi was one of the reserves for the Indian tour of
Sri Lanka earlier this year whereas Akram Qadri, a graduate
from the MRF bowling academy, and reputed to have a decent
yorker, failed to make the Hyderabadi Ranji team last year.
Ashish Kapoor is a solid batsman and recently has also
matured into an off-spinner. He used to play for Tamil
Nadu earlier but now plays for Punjab. I do not have any
information for two other names Shariq mentions, Janardhan
Ramdas and Samir Mehra and information on them would also be
Coming back to 1988 Youth Cup, the Sri Lankans, who almost
made it to the semi-finals, included some now-familiar faces.
Opening their batting was the staunch Chandika Hathurusinghe
followed in the middle-order by all-rounder Sanath Jayasuriya.
The wicketkeeping gloves were donned by another Test debut
centurion Romesh Kaluwitharana. The only prominent name in
the bowling department was that of Weerasinghe. The leading
Sri Lankan scorer of that tournament, Chaminda Mendis, could
achieve no further recognition.
Even the ICC Associates side ...
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