Under-19 Cricket: Ask Beyond how to get selected for Under-19 World cup

What is common among cricketers – Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Cheteshwar Pujara, Yuvraj Singh, and Mohammad Kaif?

They all played under-19 cricket and represented India at the U19 world cup.

The list of such players can be long but surprisingly, the public remembers these cricket stars, hails their achievements, and remains unaware of the hard work these players put in to reach this position. 

But did you ever think why Under 19 cricket is important? Why does playing the U 19 cricket world cup make a big difference? 

The purpose of today’s blog is to update our readers about the U19 cricket selection procedure and its relevance.

What is the meaning of under 19 in cricket?

There are various levels of championships at the domestic level in cricket like cricket under 14 and cricket under 16 apart from club or school-level championships. In the same way, under 19, or as commonly known, u19 is an important level of cricket. More so because the BCCI has its under-19 cricket team that goes ahead to play in the ICC Under 19 World Cup tournament.

Every year, thousands of young children start their cricket training with the dream of securing a place in the Indian cricket team. Most of these young cricketers use under-19 cricket as their stage to draw the attention of selectors. 

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Is it necessary to play under-16 cricket before playing under-19 cricket?

No, it is not mandatory to play under-16 cricket for selection in the under-19 cricket team. Several players make their debut in Under 19 directly from club or school tournaments.

What can be the journey of a cricketer for under 14 or 16 levels?

Depending upon the age and expertise of the player, a young cricketer gets the opportunity to play at a local club,  school leagues, or at district levels. Here is an image from DDCA, that gives an idea about the entry route for the under-16 levels.

Selection procedure in U 16 cricket team

Each Indian state has its state cricket associations, and these associations are members of the BCCI.

Institutional structure of state cricket associations for u19 cricket team

Although not all state cricket associations follow the same selection procedure, yet, most talented players get into the state team at the U-16 level by playing in the district, and zonal cricket tournaments. Performance at zonal and state-level cricket tournaments is an important yardstick to go ahead on the ladder.

Here is the selection procedure for under 16 in detail:

As stated in the image, state cricket associations have zones, and each zone has some districts assigned to them. The journey of most young cricketers starts with playing in their district teams. 

These district teams compete against other teams in their zone. Later zone teams compete against each other at inter-zone tournaments. The individual performance of all players is closely monitored and a list of the best 30 players is prepared.

If you think that you are ready to represent your state team, then the answer is a big NO, as you still need to prove yourself. Each state organizes camps and there a squad of the best 15 players is selected from these 30 players. And, this way, a state gets its under16 cricket team players. 

All state cricket associations are further divided into five zones -EAST, WEST, NORTH, SOUTH, and CENTRAL. At this level, each state team plays against other teams in their zones, and further one squad of the 15 best players is created. 

Now, these Best five squads of 15 players take part in the U16 challengers’ trophy. The players who perform well are finally selected for the under-16 cricket team. 

Are U16 key factors for the selection of the Under 19 cricket team?

Yes, It won’t be wrong if we state that Under 16 plays a crucial role in under-19 cricket team selections.

Observe the below image.

U19 cricket team selection procedure

Is there any other way of selection for the Under 19 cricket team?

Yes, though, many players get into the state team at the U-19 level directly by performing in local state leagues/district-level cricket. But if you did miss under 16, still you have a chance to play under 19.

As a cricketer, you can play for various cricket clubs, your club team can take part in various state-level championships. Sometimes state cricket associations hold selection camps for direct entry, thus you can appear for trials at these selection camps as well.

How old can you be to play U19?

At the time of selection, your age should be less than 19. Generally, players who are talented enough to play India U-19, get into state U-19 teams at the age of 16–17 yrs. 

What are other national tournaments that can help to get a place in U19?

There are tournaments – Ranji Trophy, Duleep Trophy, and Cooch Bihar trophy are there that can help you with U19 and Indian cricket team selection.

How can I play Ranji Trophy?

Selection procedure for Ranji tournament to under 19 cricket team 

I am sure now there will not be any doubt left in your mind related to entry under 19 cricket team.

Who gets a chance to play in the Under 19 cricket world cup?

The U19 Indian cricket team gets a chance to represent India at various international championships, and the ICC U-19 world cup is one of them. 

What are the benefits of playing in the U-19 world cup?

Several benefits motivate players to be part of the u-19 cricket world cup team.

  1. The BCCI provides an allowance to U-19 players therefore the U-19 world cup team gets a higher allowance.
  2. Talented players get the attention of selectors, so their entry into the Indian cricket A team and IPL becomes easy.
  3. In case you miss the place in Sr India A team, then you can still play Ranji and other National level championships and can build a career around it.

In cricket, Performance matters

As we always say, cricket is a game of perfection. If you want to have a career in cricket, and dream to play for Team India, then you need to work hard. If you are starting early, then you can join cricket academies, and learn various techniques of cricket under expert coaching. But in case you are unable to join any academy, still, you can improve your game. Thankfully nowadays several gadgets are available in the market that can help you to improve your game and the cricket bat sensor is one of them. Str8bat cricket bat sensor provides insights about your batting metrics so that you can work on your weaknesses and upscale your game to higher levels.

Credits: I would like to thank Mr. Nagesh Gupta, who is a BCCI level 2 coach from Chandigarh, and who helped me with this blog.

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