International cricket bid farewell to some of the game’s best players in 2019 – South African greats Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn, and Imran Tahir, India’s world cup hero Yuvraj Singh, Pakistan’s veteran batsman Shoaib Malik and many more made happy last appearances for their respective countries this year. Fans were filled with nostalgia as these men donned their national colors for the one last time. There were sweet smiles under teary eyes that watched their heroes say a final goodbye.
But the game doesn’t stop evolving and presenting newer surprises, cricket works in a cycle after all. As the old members of this family retire, the younger ones take complete responsibility of maintaining the quality of this game. The elder ones are fruits that disperse these seeds that grow up to be tiny aspiring saplings. Here is a list of the 7 most talented youngsters in the current cricket scenario:
1) Tom Banton:
This 21-year-old Somerset wicketkeeper- opener set a great challenge in one of the toughest domestic leagues of the world when he scored 549 runs in the Vitality Blast 2019. A fluent century of 51 balls was just a highlight of Banton’s English campaign. He also scored a quick-fire 81 in 28 balls at the Abu Dhabi T10 league after failing to make a statement in New Zealand. Tom aspires to join defending champions Mumbai Indians in the 13th season of the Indian Premier League. However, a lot of franchises might want to launch this youngster.
2) Mujeeb Ur Rahman:
Mujeeb Ur Rahman Zadran started his international career by creating a record the moment he set foot on the field- he was the first player born in the 21st century to play international cricket. The 18-year-old has represented Afghanistan in all formats, with a decent experience at such a young age. He is the youngest (16 years 325 days) bowler to take a five-wicket haul in One Day Internationals. Mujeeb’s stint with Kings XI Punjab began when he was just 17 years old. He has also made significant contributions for Middlesex County Cricket Club in the Vitality Blast. This off-spinner has a mystery delivery that is capable of puzzling any batsman in the world.
3) Kamlesh Nagarkoti:
28th day of February in 2017, Chepauk can be marked as a day that witnessed a 17-year-old run through the Gujrat lineup and claims a hattrick to ensure Rajasthan’s 14 run victory. Kamlesh Nagarkoti is known as the future of pace bowling in India. He has been featuring in the list of upcoming youngsters for a long time and the entire cricketing fraternity can’t wait to watch him play at the international stage. After a terrific performance at the U19 world cup in 2018, he was also picked by Kolkata Knight Riders. However, he has been out of action owing to an injury.
4) Sandeep Lamichhane:
This 19-year-old Nepalese leg spinner is a rare talent with a lot of passion. People in India remember him as the young boy who played for Delhi Capitals in 2019. Sandeep made his international debut with the World XI against West Indies – he is the first cricketer to record this feat. His ability to confuse the batsmen by turning the ball both sides with a similar action had created headlines in cricketing news. Lamichhane has already claimed 28 wickets in 18 T20 internationals.
5) Shivam Mavi:
Mavi took a fine hattrick against a strong Saurashtra team in the Vijay Hazare Trophy, to help Uttar Pradesh gain a clear edge on an opening day. Shivam was India’s leading Pacer at the U19 World Cup in 2018 where he and Nagarkoti made the most formidable pair. On Ranji Trophy debut, Mavi claimed 4 wickets against Goa. He has also represented the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League. In 2018, Shivam was named in India’s team for the ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup. This 21-year-old pacer’s ability to swing the ball both ways at a more than average speed makes him a bright spot in any attack.
6) Lloyd Pope:
The 20-year-old leg-break bowler has been one of Australia’s emerging cricketers. With Nathan Lyon doing so well on all kinds of pitches, the senior team would like to see another quality spinner on board. His first season in the Sheffield Shield (2018-19) was marked by a mind-blowing figure of 7/87 for South Australia. It was only his second match and Pope made his intentions pretty clear. He has also played for Sydney Sixers in the Big Bash League. Pope boasts to have the best figures in the U19 cricket world cup history – 8/35.
7) Shaheen Afridi:
After watching him stun the biggest opponents during international matches regularly since 2018, nobody realizes that Shaheen is just a 19-year-old boy who has a long way to go. The tall pacer (6ft 6inches) has the ability to bowl at a specific spot for as many overs the team requires. In 3 tests Shaheen has already taken 12 wickets for Pakistan. His 59 over statistics are amazing, he has 40 wickets in 19 outings. His hard-hitting abilities relieve pressure on the batting lineup. Shaheen has decided a central contract from the PCB in the 2018-19 season, which is rare for a bowler his age.