ICC U-19 Men’s World Cup 2022: Group C preview with Afghanistan, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe
The 2022 ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup is set to begin on January 14 this year, with the West Indies hosting the tournament for the first time. No less than 16 teams will compete in the competition and India, a four-time record champion, will be among the favorites for the title. The ICC Under-19 Men’s World Cup kicked off in 1988 and has witnessed some remarkable moments, serving as a platform of choice for up-and-coming young people to stand out and taste the international action before heading into the tournament. senior cricket.
Ahead of the tournament, here’s a look at Group C:
Group C of the ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup pits a two-time champion against one of the game’s rising forces, with a few potential black horses looking to surprise.
Pakistan are the only team to have defended the title, in 2006 after a first crown two years earlier, and will try to advance to the final for the sixth time in the West Indies.
Their biggest rivals in the squad could be Afghanistan, whose best result came four years ago when they reached the semi-finals.
Joining the sub-continental duo are Zimbabwe, who have achieved the first round three times, and Papua New Guinea, back in the competition after failing to qualify in 2020.
Afghanistan (7th appearance)
Afghanistan’s rise in the senior ranks has been mirrored at the Under-19 level, with the team reaching the quarter-finals in three of the last four editions of the ICC U19 Men’s CWC.
Since the first qualifying in 2010, Afghanistan has competed in every tournament since, culminating in 2018 when a team consisting of Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Mujeeb Ur Rahman helped them reach the semi-finals before losing to the ‘Australia.
This time around, it will be spinner Noor Ahmad to provide the experience, as the sole survivor of Team 2020.
The 17-year-old has been involved in both the Big Bash and PSL and is expected to provide a lot of support to skipper Suliman Safi.
Pakistan (14th appearance)
Only India have reached the ICC Men’s U19 CWC final more often than Pakistan, which has reached it five times in total.
The glory years returned in 2004 and 2006, with back-to-back titles in teams such as future skipper Sarfraz Ahmed, as well as Wahab Riaz and Imad Wasim.
Most recently, Shaheen Shah Afridi first gained attention during the ICC Men’s U19 CWC, so the talent treadmill showed no signs of slowing down.
In the West Indies, the versatile Qasim Akram will be the captain of the team coached by Pakistani legend Ijaz Ahmed.
Qasim will be joined by top notch hitter Muhammad Shehzad, who is also returning for his second appearance in the tournament.
Papua New Guinea (9th appearance)
After the Papua New Guinea senior men’s team compete in the 2021 ICC T20 Men’s World Cup, the Under-19 team will make their ninth appearance in the ICC Men’s U19 CWC at the West Indies.
PNG are yet to make the first round of the tournament, but of their three previous wins, two have been against Group C opponents.
In 2010, PNG got the better of Afghanistan, while two years later it got the better of Zimbabwe.
The all-rounder Barnabas Maha will lead the team in the West Indies, having also been the team’s captain in the qualifiers for the CWC 2020 ICC U19 Men.
Zimbabwe (13th appearance)
Zimbabwe have been remarkably consistent in recent editions, finishing 10th or 11th in each of the last four ICC U19 men’s CWCs.
The best of those campaigns came in 2016 when a team consisting of then-15-year-old Wesley Madhevere lost by just two points to future champions West Indies and missed out on qualifying for the quarter-finals before beating the ‘South Africa through eight counters. in the play-offs.
A record of three wins and three losses in each of these tournaments shows that Zimbabwe should not be taken lightly by any opponent, and they will be eager to surprise the Sub-Continental pair who are the favorites to come out of the squad.
Emmanuel Bawa, who scored a century against Canada in the 2020 edition, is the team’s captain this year and is the only remaining member of that team.
He will be supported by vice-captain Brian Bennett in a team coached by former Zimbabwean captain Prosper Utseya.
(With ICC inputs)
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