Afghanistan, Malaysia, Nepal and the UAE are already aiming to do as well as possible against their respective Test-playing nation opponents in the forthcoming U-19 Asia Cup. The 50-over event which takes place in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah across the new year period has the top four ACC U-19 teams take on the U-19s of Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. “We’ve seen in the last U-19 Asia Cup how competitive these matches can be, and it’s also ideal preparation for the ICC U19 World Cup for the Test teams and Afghanistan and UAE in particular,” says ACC Events Manager Sultan Rana.

Afghanistan are training their teens in Jalalabad under coaches Dawlat Ahmadzai and Wali Amin. The U-19s are playing alongside the A Team so that both teams can sharpen up. “We will pick the best 15 for both sides after this,” says A team coach Raees Ahmadzai. Malaysia have already named their squad for the U-19 Asia Cup and are on the first of three preparatory camps for the event in Kuala Lumpur. Nepal have selected 36 players for the initial phase of closed-camp training. The selection was made on the basis of players´ performances during the recent Wai Wai National U-19 Cricket Tournament. UAE U-19s have been training with coaches Aaqib Javed, Hyder Kazmi, with input from ACC Development Officer Venkatapathi Raju. The majority of players in the sides are those who featured in the ACC U-19 Elite Cup in May, with the cut-off date for the U-19 Asia Cup and U19 World Cup being September 1, 1993.

India and Pakistan, joint winners of the last U-19 Asia Cup

The inaugural U-19 Asia Cup in 2012 had that famous tied Final between India and Pakistan, Unmukt Chand, Baba Aparajith, Smit Patel and all in front of a packed house at the Kinrara Oval in Malaysia, with Afghanistan beating Bangladesh to reach the semi-final as well. Emirates Cricket Board Administrator Mazhar Khan expects even more support as well as top-quality cricket this time around. “Our boys have been working hard and are there on merit, and with the natural crowd support in the Gulf for so many of these teams, we’re expecting an excellent U-19 Asia Cup, one that’s going to go a long way in setting up the teams for the U19 World Cup in February 2014.

ACC U-19 Asia Cup 2014 Schedule

Filed November 21st, 2013