U-19 debacle

One-off thing or systemic issue?

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Pakistan Under-19 cricket team lost out to India in the World Cup semi-final on Tuesday. Before the match there was a great hope and optimism in the Pakistan camp. They were thought to be a better side and aiming to clinch the coveted trophy. In the previous matches they fared really well but the semi-final proved a different game altogether. Batting first, Pak side fell cheaply and was bold-out for 172 runs in 40 odd overs. Only a couple of batsmen including the captain could get to double digits. Later when the Indian came to bat, they made the match look a one-sided affair. Without losing any wicket, they got over the finish line with one batman scoring a 100 in style and the other a 50 in a calculated and measured fashion.

Now India shall be facing New Zealand or Bangladesh whoever gets to win the other semi-final. May the best of them win the contest.

Back home, we can take comfort in the fact that our youngsters ended up among the top four teams and did not lose without putting up a fight. At least, unlike our national team, they did not carry the unpredictability tag. That nevertheless, to be a champion it takes constant hard work and determination and focus. On that count we are not yet there. Other teams particularly Australia and India have been for more methodical in their approach and investments when it came to training the young sides. Their statistics vouch for that.  Australia in particular, probably aware of having a small pool of talent to choose from, is way more scientific and clinical in selection and training of their sportspersons. Pakistan can learn a thing or two from those ruling the world of sports. In the meanwhile let’s not forget to welcome back the returning side for having come thus far.