The independent voice of cricket

Cricket World Cup 2019

Cricket World Cup 2019: Young stars to look out for

by Sean Wilson 7 minute read

The Cricket World Cup 2019 will provide a perfect platform for rising stars striving to make a name for themselves. Sean Wilson profiles the best young talent set to light up the tournament.

Aiden Markram, 24 (South Africa)

Markram was player of the tournament in South Africa’s triumphant 2014 Under 19 World Cup campaign

Despite only making his international debut in 2017, Markram has already become a key member of South Africa’s batting line-up in all formats of the game. The stylish right-hander’s ODI career has not taken off quite like his Test career just yet, but he has more than enough ability to explode into life during this World Cup.

ODIs: 503 runs at 29.58, 0 hundreds


Imam ul-Haq, 23 (Pakistan)

Imam lacks firepower but has already proven himself as a reliable run-getter

A steady but already dependable opening batsman, Imam made a century on his ODI debut against Sri Lanka in 2017 and has been a regular feature at the top of the order since. His impressive ODI record so far, along with his 151 against England at Bristol, shows just how important he will be for his country.

ODIs: 1387 runs at 60.30, 6 hundreds


Shimron Hetmyer, 22 (West Indies) 

Hetmyer has produced some sparkling innings so far in his short career

After leading West Indies to their maiden Under 19 Cricket World Cup title in 2016, Hetmyer attracted attention with 259 runs in a five-match ODI series in India. His ability to play swashbuckling shots all around the wicket quickly established him as an important middle-order batsman for the West Indies, as well as securing him a lucrative IPL contract.

ODIs: 899 runs at 40.86, 4 hundreds


Nicholas Pooran, 23 (West Indies)

Pooran has impressed many in franchise cricket and has plenty of talent with the bat

Despite a horrific car crash nearly cutting short his career four years ago, Pooran has earned a reputation as one of the most exciting limited-overs batsmen in the West Indies. The 23-year-old has only played one ODI so far and his first-class record is modest, but he possesses a striking ability to play shots all around the ground and has impressed in franchise cricket.

ODIs: 0 runs at 0.00, 0 hundreds


Shadab Khan, 20 (Pakistan)

Shadab is already a valuable all-rounder in all formats of the game for Pakistan

Even at the young age of 20, the fact that Shadab has 34 ODIs under his belt underlines his enormous all-round talent. His ability to turn the ball sharply both ways and take wickets at key periods quickly drew the attention of the Pakistan selectors. Shadab has also developed into a solid middle/lower-order batsman, as his average of just under 30 implies.

ODIs: 47 wickets at 27.74, 0 five-fors; 294 runs at 29.24, 0 hundreds


Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 18 (Afghanistan)

Mujeeb is already a popular limited-overs bowler around the world

One of the youngest players in the tournament, Mujeeb’s dangerous off-spin could make him one of the most effective, too. At the age of just 16 years and 325 days, he became the youngest player ever by some distance to take a five-for in ODI cricket. Now 18, Mujeeb is one of the most in-demand limited-overs bowlers around and his stock is set to rise further this summer.

ODIs: 51 wickets at 20.01, 1 five-for

Kuldeep Yadav, 24 (India)

Kuldeep finished with 14 wickets at the 2014 Under 19 World Cup, including a hat-trick

Despite initially starting his career as a fast bowler, Kuldeep is now one of the most effective spinners in limited-overs cricket. His clever flight and devastating variety of deliveries are key to India’s bowling plans, especially in the middle periods. His ODI bowling average and economy rate further emphasise his talent.

ODIs: 87 wickets at 21.74, 1 five-wicket-haul


Shaheen Afridi, 19 (Pakistan)

Afridi made his Test, ODI and T20I debuts all before the age of 19

At 6ft 6in, with vicious bounce and pace, 19-year-old Afridi is already an imposing figure for opposition batsmen. With the decline in form of Mohammad Amir, Afridi has already been tasked with leading the Pakistan bowling attack in recent months and in future years. His impressive performances so far suggest he can do just that.

ODIs: 24 wickets at 25.54, 0 five-fors


Lungi Ngidi, 23 (South Africa)

Ngidi bowls with fire and already has impressive stats in all three formats

Similar to Afridi, Ngidi quickly earned admirers for his ability to bowl up to 90mph and generate steep bounce. He has been named Man of the Match both on his Test and T20I debut and his comfort with bowling effectively at any stage of an innings gives South Africa’s attack an extra dimension.

ODIs: 34 wickets at 22.64, 0 five-fors


Oshane Thomas, 22 (West Indies)

Thomas adds pace and hostility to the West Indies attack

After impressing in the CPL as a youngster, Thomas was drafted into West Indies’ ODI series in India, causing the home side’s top order problems with his sharp deliveries in excess of 90mph. His finest moment so far came against England, when his 5-21 helped blow way the world No.1 ODI wide for 113, which proved the catalyst to Windies earning a commendable 2-2 series draw.

ODIs: 15 wickets at 27.53, 1 five-for


Have Your Say

Become a Wisden member

  • Exclusive offers and competitions
  • Money-can’t-buy experiences
  • Join the Wisden community
  • Sign up for free
Latest magazine

Get the magazine

12 Issues for just £39.99