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Yuvraj & Kaif’s U-19 memories

Calcutta: With just about a month to go for the U-19 World Cup, players who once played in the tournament walked down the memory lane to share their experiences.

Yuvraj Singh, who was the player of the tournament in the 2000 edition, said how the U-19 meet served as a stepping stone in his career.

“The 2000 meet was a stepping stone in my career… It gave me the confidence to do well in future global ICC tournaments, such as the 2007 World T20 and the 2011 World Cup, in which I contributed to India’s title triumphs,” Yuvraj said.

“Beating Australia in the semi-finals was one of my happiest memories from the 2000 U-19 World Cup… And what a happy coincidence it is that in 2007 (World T20) we managed to beat Australia in the semi-finals and in 2011 (World Cup), we got past them in the quarter finals,” he added.

Mohammed Kaif, who led India to the U-19 World Cup triumph in 2000, said: “Our winning the crown changed the landscape of age-group cricket in India forever, and for the best. We were recognised much more, thanks to the media coverage…

“The BCCI started investing a lot more in youth cricket by sending youngsters to foreign academies and giving budding cricketers much more international exposures.”

The likes of Venkatapathy Raju, Graeme Smith, Dinesh Chandimal and Junaid Khan also shared their memories.