The U19 World Cup has long been a tournament where future stars of the game have announced themselves on the global stage for the first time.
Going back to the 1988 tournament, the England squad featured two future Test captains in Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain while their 2010 group included four players who went on to lift the men’s World Cup nine years later.
The tournament victors this year were Bangladesh, who pipped India in a tense final in Potchefstroom. Here are five players who shone most impressively across the tournament:
A quick leg-spinner very much in the mould of Rashid Khan, Bishnoi was the standout bowler in the competition. The leading wicket-taker in the tournament with 17 – no Indian has ever taken more in a single U19 World Cup – Bishnoi nearly turned the final in India’s favour, taking 4-30 against Bangladesh. The holder of a lucrative IPL contract with Kings XI Punjab, Bishnoi is perhaps the player from the U19 World Cup most likely to make an immediate impact in high profile senior cricket.
Tall, fast, accurate and skilful, don’t be surprised if Jayden Seales finds himself in a senior West Indies squad sometime soon. Ian Bishop believes Seales is ahead of where Alzarri Josephs was at a similar stage in his development during the 2016 U19 World Cup and that Seales is “ready to move up to the senior stage.” Devastating in the group stage, West Indies’ failure to bowl him out in their quarter-final defeat to New Zealand was a significant contributing factor in their exit from the competition.
In his two games against South Africa in the U19 World Cup, Shafiqullah took extraordinary combined figures of 10-30. One of several wrist-spinners to impress in the tournament, Shafiqullah stood out as perhaps the most accurate, sending down admirably few bad balls for a young wrist-spinner. It’s unlikely that Shafiqullah will ever usurp Rashid Khan as Afghanistan’s premier leggie in any format, but don’t be surprised if his batting helps him nail down a spot higher up in the Afghanistan order.
Comfortably the best batsman on show at the U19 World Cup. Jaiswal finished the tournament as its top runscorer with a staggering average of over 133. His unbeaten hundred against Pakistan was arguably the innings of the tournament and the U19 World Cup looked to be heading India’s way before Jaiswal was dismissed for 88 in the final. Already the holder of a List A double hundred, Jaiswal is another who we might see in this year’s IPL – the 18-year-old is a teammate of Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer at the Rajasthan Royals.
A left-arm quick similar in build and style to Mustafizur Rahman, Shoriful played a key role in Bangladesh’s victory in the final over India, taking two wickets, two catches and affecting a run out. With 40 professional games worth of experience already in the bank – he has 22 first-class wickets at an average of less than 23 – it might not be long until Shoriful gets an initial chance in international cricket.