Tim Southee named ICC U-19 player of the tournament

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Kuala Lumpur, Mar 3 (UNI) New Zealand bowler Tim Southee was named player of the tournament of the recently concluded ICC U-19 cricket World Cup in which India emerged champions.

Southee has been the most outstanding bowler of the event with his consistent line and length, coupled with good pace and a real competitive edge. The Northland man finished on 11 points, two ahead of his nearest rival, despite having played one game less than other players.

The points were allocated by the ICC umpires at each match with those officials awarding three points for their choice as man of the match, second choice getting two points and the third pick receiving one.

The New Zealander was awarded at least two points in every match that he played. He also notched up a man-of-the-match performance, and it is a tribute to his dominance that he won this award having played five matches while many other players turned out in six.

After winning the prestigious award Southee said,''I played in the last U/19 CWC in Sri Lanka and it did not go as well as I would have liked. I thought long and hard about what happened there in planning for this tournament.

''I decided that I did not want to do anything different, just stick to a very simple game plan of concentrating on length. I thought that if I did this, the low and slow nature of the wickets would make it difficult to score and that would put added pressure on the batsmen.'' Southee has picked up several admirers during this tournament, not least his coach, Dipak Patel.

''The great secret to Tim's bowling over the tournament was his consistency, said Patel, who has himself played 37 Tests and 75 ODIs for New Zealand.

''To be an attacking bowler on the unresponsive wickets we faced was difficult, but not only did he take wickets, he also restricted runs. The pressure he exerted at the top of the innings often turned into wickets,'' Patel said.

Southee saw off stiff competition from Sri Lanka's batsman Sachith Pathirana, who ended with nine points. Another point further back India captain Virat Kohli and Nepal skipper Paras Khadka.

Meanwhile, Had Kohli won the man of the match award in the final, he would have bagged the Player of the Tournament award because he would have ended on the same number of points as Southee, but,Indian skipper would have been declared the winner on account of winning more MOM awards during the tournament.

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