Indian Test captain Virat Kohli, who led India Under-19 to victory in the 2008 edition in Malaysia, has laid stress on the importance of the junior 50-over showpiece event, saying the competition helps youngsters grow as cricketers.
As the 11th edition of the youth World Cup starts on January 22 in Bangladesh, Kohli reflects on the significance of the tournament.
“A lot of players I played against in 2008, are now playing for their respective nations,” Kohli was quoted as saying in an ICC release.
After leading a Indian colts to victory in 2008, Kohli not only went on to represent Indian but was also a member of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s teams that won the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and the ICC Champions Trophy 2013.
As one of the very few cricketers to have won three ICC titles, Kohli has an opportunity to become the first player ever to bag the sport’s equivalent of the Grand Slam in tennis if India wins the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 at home in April.
Talking of the 2008 tournament, Kohli said the live telecast of the rain-affected final, in which India defeated South Africa by 12 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method, was a game-changer for his young side.
“It was an opportunity for everyone to showcase their talent because the whole world was watching it,” said the star batsman, who scored 235 runs in six matches at an average of 47 with one century.