Home > Cricket Development > On the u19 World Cup qualifier …

On the u19 World Cup qualifier …

Sorry, this posting is about 1 month late, as I was not writing before.

About two and a half years ago, I wrote this post on this blog that the ICC is missing an u19 qualifier tournament. It is good to see that the ICC finally realized it themselves.

If this tournament had not been in place, the ICC couldnt have done better than second guessing. They would have given 2 spots to Europe, and 1 each to the other regions. That would have meant that the following teams would have qualified: Ireland, Netherlands, Canada, PNG, Uganda and Afgahnistan. As it turned out, due to the qualifier, there was no qualification from Africa on the account of them being too weak. and Netherlands were not able to make it either, primarily becuase their 2 super star batsmen who are more than half their batting were missing. Whatever the excuse might be, the stronger teams ended up qualifying and the regions also got a sense of where they stand. Netherlands should however, look at why their best players were available, and that too at this level for only 2 weeks !

Now on to the future of such a tournament, the fact that almost 12 players vanished from Afghan and Uganda squads will create a lot of trouble for such a tournament to be held in what are traditionally known as developed countries. I was actually appalled at what happenned, especially in the Afghan coach also ran away. Now Uganda was pretty bad in the tournament so you can suspect that they might have selected players who were not thinking of a cricket future, but just paid their way through and were planning on running away anyway. But Afghan team, it was runners up ! And their coach ran away too !

Uganda will find it difficult now to tour countries like Aus, USA or Canada again. So will other african countries. But what made it very appalling was that these were kids! u19 players !. Its not unthinkable that this would happen, but at u19 level its probably the first of its kind. ICC could have done a better job policing the teams, especially since Sierra Leone were not allowed especially for these apprehensions.

Hong Kong, USA and Canada all had only 4 players each born in that country. Others were born elsewhere. Hopefully the players migrated to these countries in their early years and represent somewhat of the development level of that country. Personally, I was rooting for Netherlands to qualify instead of HK, becuase I knew that they were much stronger in reality if Kervezee and Allema were playing. But then again who knows, maybe these 2 would have founf something more important to do in the actual world cup as well instead of playing for their team. I guess, to each, his own.

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Categories: Cricket Development
  1. Nishadh
    October 13, 2009 at 5:25 pm

    Yeah I mean personally I think Hong Kong were quite lucky to qualify on the last day of the competition. But they’ve come leaps and bounds in the last 2 or 3 years mainly due to a group of core Pakistani expats, and a very good coach in Aftab Habib, who, by the way, has resigned suddenly.

    On the point of absconding players, this is the second time Uganda has been involved in a situation like this. The onus is on that country’s government and cricket board to insure that nothing like this ever happens again otherwise countries should have every right to deny them visas and entry.

    I find it particularly curious that one could use the pretence of international sport to escape conditions back home. This signifies a distinct lack of patriotism, and national pride, however for many of these people, and the conditions they grow up in, nobody can blame them.

  2. October 14, 2009 at 2:31 am

    Its not unthinkable. We used to see this with Pakistan Baseball team visiting USA 🙂 The whole team would vanish. But that was still a shaddy situation, as first of all, baseball is not a big sport in Pakistan, and secondly when the team would play, they would be thrashed badly. It showed that perhaps, just perhaps, the players were not real players, but people who bribed their way for getting into the team as an easy ticket to the US.

    But this would happen at the senior level, not at u19 level. Also, the afghan team was runners up, so they were either serious cricketers, or Afghanistan just has too much talent that even their fake players are beating everyone in cricket !

  3. ray
    October 15, 2009 at 4:17 am

    I think Canada might slowly be turning the corner, here. True several of the U19 players did arrive in Canada within the last few years. However, they have spent many of their teenage years developing in Canada. In the past the senior team was largely composed of players who came to Canada as adults. We will have to see to what extent these young players are able to crack the senior squad in coming years. I certainly hope it will soon better reflect Canada’s development system.

    To this end, Cricket Canada really need to find the funding to put a national academy in place.

  4. October 15, 2009 at 4:26 am

    They do push in homegrown players into the squad whenever they can… and I think now they have given out pro contracts to some players as well …. Still, Canada has been on the ICC radar as high performance team since 2001. So for them to have a team that only has 4 born and bred players is not that good.

    • ray
      October 15, 2009 at 9:26 am

      –So for them to have a team that only has 4 born and bred players is not that good.–

      I partially agree. ICC funds for the High Performance Associates are eaten up by the costs of the senior team, leaving little to assist the development of youth to the fullest extent. However, Canada has been lazy throughout its cricket history when it comes to developing home-grown talent. Past U19 team member were essentially abandoned to their own means. Canada blundered badly at the last World Cup when they went with aging veterans over trying to integrate younger talent. The selectors seem to be conscious of this mistake as they brought in two of the most promising members of the U19s for the recent series against Kenya. They must continue down this road.

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