History of the U-19 Cricket World Cup: how India became the most successful team

DUBAI: From Brian Lara to Virat Kohli, Ben Stokes to Steve Smith, the ICC U19 World Cup He has never failed to display the brightest young cricket stars.

More than 30 years have passed since the best talents in the world were first announced on the big stage, with the 1988 Youth Cricket World Cup as an innovative step to bring capacity to the fore, says a press release from the ICC.

Lara and Michael Atherton, fresh-faced, were among those who made a name so many years ago, when Australia hosts emerged victorious after defeating Pakistan in the final.

Una década más tarde, la U19 World Cup encontró regularidad en el calendario, con la competencia semestral convirtiéndose en el pináculo para los jugadores de cricket de adolescentes en todo el mundo.

In 1998, it was South Africa It is the turn to host, as they will do in 2020, with England winning a highly competitive tournament that saw the change of format to include 16 teams.

Two years later, the most successful country in the competition won the first of its four victories, with 'Tournament Player' Yuvraj Singh inspiring India to victory in Sri Lanka in 2000.

Since then, the development of new countries into the cricket landscape has been plentiful, with Japan and Nigeria's upcoming debuts at South Africa 2020 taking the total number of representatives to 31, with Canada, Bermuda, Afghanistan and Fiji among those making the step up this century.

Only Australia and Pakistan can join India to boast more than one U19 Cricket World Cup title, with sole successes for England, South Africa and West Indies highlighting the tournament's competitive nature.

The story was made in 2002 when Australia, with the future captain Cameron White, became the first team to prevail on two separate occasions, with White himself finishing as the top scorer.

En este momento, el impacto de aquellos que progresaron desde la U19 World Cup hasta el cricket internacional en toda regla se sintió con fuerza, con Shikhar Dhawan como el último en beneficiarse después de anotar la mayor cantidad de carreras en Bangladesh 2004.

But his 505 races, which remain the best in a single edition of the tournament, were not enough to overthrow Pakistan, which became the first, and so far on the only side to defend his title when he won in Sri Lanka 24 months after.

However, they had to do it the hard way, when India pulled it to 109 before reducing its opponents to 9/6 in response. Anwar Ali was the hero with a five wicket course.

Let's move forward two years and get the first glimpses of the players that currently illuminate the international scene.

A teenage star by the name of Kohli was doing what she does best in Malaysia, her century against the West Indies helping India to her second title.

But he was not the only current great guard in Kuala Lumpur, with New Zealanders Williamson and Smith of Australia taking the first steps of their unforgettable careers.

However, there was a man who stood out above the rest, with Tim Southee named Tournament Player for his overall excellence, including an excellent 5/11 against Zimbabwe.

In 2010 and even more known names in Jos Buttler, Joe Root and Stokes, heroes of the glory of the 2019 England World Cup, were presented, although the victory did not come in New Zealand.

Instead, Josh Hazlewood, who would later lead the ICC ODI Bowling Ranking, led Australia to its third title, earning 4/30 to help them defend 208 against Pakistan.

India were back on top in 2012, before new winners took the title two years later in the UAE, with Aiden Markram scoring an unbeaten century in the quarterfinal and a match-winning 66 not out as South Africa edged out Pakistan, left disappointed once again.

Then came the turn of the West Indies, victorious for the first time in 2016 despite the efforts of the Indian Sarfaraz Khan to record a record seven and a half centuries in two Under-19 World Cups.

Prithvi Shaw led his country through a dominant tournament, while Mujeeb ur Rahman from Afghanistan and Shaheen Shah Afridi from Pakistan have become regulars in their respective high-level teams.

The stage is set, therefore, for the last harvest to show exactly what it is when the U19 World Cup begins, with 16 teams from five continents competing in 48 games.

And it is India who will be the team to beat while they seek to defend their title after reigning in 2018.

The defending Indian champions, who have been beaten alongside New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Japan in Group A, will open their campaign against Sri Lanka in the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on January 19.

On January 21 and 24, India will play its two remaining group games against Japan and New Zealand, respectively.