10 Cricketers who led both U19 and national teams
Published - Sep 1, 2016 5:17 pm | Updated - Sep 1, 2016 5:17 pm
The ICC Cricket Under-19 World Cup has been a great platform for young rising cricketers to make an impression in the cricketing universe. Ever since its inception in 1989, it has produced several talented players who have progressed to the senior team. Some have gone on to become legends of the game.
Prominent names like Sanath Jayasuriya, Graeme Smith, Brian Lara, Mushtaq Ahmed and many others gave the first glimpse of their potential to world using this platform. Eight of the ten current Test captains have graduated from the under-19 level. But, not all get the opportunity to lead their junior teams.
They played under some other players who at that time were thought to be good but failed to make a mark at the international level. But, let’s keep that aside, it’s a different story. What’s interesting is that only a handful of ten cricketers hold a unique distinction of having led both their U19 team and the senior teams.
1. Michael Atherton (England) – 1989 Youth World Cup:
Michael Atherton, one of the most prolific English openers, was known for his superb technique and stubborn batting attitude. Atherton was one of the most prominent to have played the inaugural under-19 World Cup better known as the Youth World Cup during that time.
England, under his helm, won 4 out of seven games to finish fourth in the group stages and progress to the semis. His team’s journey ended in the semis after Australia beat them by 7 wickets in a slightly one-sided contest. With the bat, he had a silent tournament, however. He made only 197 runs in 8 matches at a functional average of 24.62 batting in the No. 3 position.
He made his Test debut in the year approximately five months after the conclusion of the youth World Cup and was entrusted with the captaincy responsibility at the age of 25. He went on to lead his national side with limited success. Under his leadership, England played 54 Tests out of which they won only 13 and lost 21. 20 matches ended in a draw. In ODIs, he had a slightly better record winning 20 games while losing 21 out of the 43 matches he played as captain.