World could witness four teenagers in action in CWC 2019
DHAKA, – Come this May, all eyes will be glued to the TV screens as the cricketing world will enjoy yet another edition of the ICC World Cup, expecting to create scopes for four teenagers to show their performance.
The biggest cricketing spectacle is set to stage for world’s top ten teams for fighting for the illustrious trophy and the subsequent pride that comes with it.
For the established cricketers, this is the stage to become national heroes, and for the budding young players, it is a chance to prove their mettle and get a one-way ticket to the national team for an indefinite period.
If we take a nostalgic trip down the memory lane, we will find many young guns who made their nation proud in the biggest cricketing stage. Nowadays, with the fame and the lucrative brand deals that come along with it, the stakes are higher for the cricketers. One magical spell, one match-winning knock, and the world comes down to their feet, something many young cricketers will be hoping for.
Talking about teenagers, there might not be plenty. However, given the current squads of the teams, we can expect a total of four teenagers to be selected for the once in four years cricket carnival. Let us have a look at them.
#1 Nayeem Hasan (Bangladesh)
Nayeem Hasan became an adult just a couple of months back, but he has done something that no cricketer has ever done before. He is the youngest bowler to pick up a five-wicket haul on Test debut. In the two Test matches he has played thus far, he has picked up 6 wickets by conceding just 133 runs at an average of 22.
He is quite handy in the limited overs too, something that can be comprehended by looking at his numbers in the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League. In his 15-match long T20 career, the spinner from Chittagong has managed to pick up 8 wickets, but what separates him from the rest of the pack is his economy rate of under 7 runs per over, something very difficult to achieve in the shortest format of the game.
As a result, he had got a place in the Bangladeshi ODI as well as the Test squad for the Bangladesh’s last series against New Zealand. If he manages to avoid a performance drop, a ticket to the World Cup is there for the taking.
#2 Shaheen Afridi (Pakistan)
Like Hasan, Shaheen Afridi is also just 18-years-old, but with his impressive performances, the tall and fiery left-arm pacer from Pakistan has made himself a household name. At this young age, Afridi has already played 19 limited overs matches for his nation and is now a member of the playing XI. Afridi is currently bowling his heart out in South Africa. In the ODI series, he is the most successful bowler for Pakistan thus far. The lad from Khyber Agency has picked up 6 wickets in the 27 overs he has bowled, conceding 130 runs at an economy rate of under 5 runs per over.
As it stands, if any injury or some other external factor does not arise, his place in Pakistan’s squad for the ICC World Cup 2019 looks sealed.
#3 Mujeeb Ur Rahman (Afghanistan)
Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who will turn 18 this March, is the youngest player in this list. If Pakistan has a romantic affair with left-arm quicks, Afghanistan has a very similar one with spinners. Carrying on the legacy of Rashid Khan is Mujeeb, the 17-year-old from Khost who has already made a name for himself by displaying his caliber in the franchise-based T20 tournaments.
After a successful stint with Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League, Zadran is currently plying his trade for Brisbane Heat in the Big Bash League. In the last 10 games he has played for them, his economy rate has crossed the 7-run mark only thrice.
In ODIs too, he has an astonishing economy rate of under 4 runs per over and has picked up 51 wickets in the 28 50-over matches he has played for Afghanistan.
#4 Shubman Gill (India)
With impressive performances against Australia and New Zealand, there aren’t many questions the Indian fans would like to ask the Indian team management, except one – will we see Shubman Gill in the World Cup?
The 19-year-old has already proved his mettle, not once but thrice. A brilliant ICC U19 World Cup campaign was followed by a commendable IPL stint with Kolkata Knight Riders.
He rounded it all off with a phenomenal Ranji Trophy season, scoring 728 runs in 9 games at a staggering average of over 100 and a strike rate of nearly 80. Consequently, he has earned a place in the Indian ODI squad for the New Zealand series, and at the time of writing, seems hours away from getting his debut ODI cap.
Provided he manages to impress the management with his performances, he might earn a call for the biggest cricketing stage there can ever be.