Under-19 World Cup players to emerge as stars of tomorrow: Mali

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Kuala Lumpur, Mar 3 (UNI) ICC President Ray Mali said the 2008 ICC Under-19 World Cup, which India won after defeating South Africa by 12 runs here, was an ideal preparation for the players who will emerge as the stars of tomorrow.

''I wonder who will be the stars that will emerge from this event. There have been some wonderful performances from the likes of India's Virat Kohli, South Africa's Wayne Parnell, Tim Southee of New Zealand, Sachith Pathirana from Sri Lanka, Michael Hill of Australia, Ali Asad from Pakistan and many, many more,'' he said.

''I look forward to seeing those players and more from this event come through in the years to come.

''When I look back over previous U/19 World Cups the first thing to come to mind is the quality of the players that have come to the fore in the senior global game having first played in this tournament.

''Inzamam-ul-Haq, Brian Lara, Yuvraj Singh, Graeme Smith, Sanath Jayasuriya and many other fine players began their international careers on this stage,'' he added.

Players on the tour were also educated on and off the field which, Mali believesm, has equipped the teenagers with the skills necessary to push on to the next level in their development.

''This event was designed to be a finishing school for these young cricketers. It was an opportunity for players to test their skills in a full ICC tournament environment against their peers from around the world and I think they have risen to that challenge.

''But it has been about more than that. The players have received education on matters of anti-corruption and anti-doping, they have learned how to cope with questions from the media and generally being in the spotlight,'' he continued.

''They have learned how to perform to the best of their ability in the midst of all the necessary distractions that go along with events like this. In short, this event has put them on the road to becoming well-rounded sportsmen,'' he said.

Meanwhile, Mali admitted the fact that the Under-19 World Cup was a huge success.

''From that point of view I am especially delighted with how the event has gone. What these players have learned in Malaysia will stay with them for a long time to come.'' UNI XC RAR AB PM1944

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