The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has invited the Sri Lanka U19 team for the upcoming edition of U19 Challenger Trophy, a report in The Indian Express suggests. The report also adds that the Sri Lankan board has accepted the invite and they will be sending their junior team to India.
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This is the first time when a foreign team will be participating in the U19 Challenger Trophy. Earlier, we have seen international teams join in Duleep Trophy, and this will probably be the second time when a foreign team will take part in Indian domestic cricket, after Duleep Trophy.
The board has already announced the three squads for the tournament. Prithvi Shaw, Abhishek Sharma and Himanshu Rana have been appointed as the captains for three different sides, as the U19 team management is yet to ink on a permanent skipper. Earlier, it was Abhishek Sharma who led the team, and the junior side went on to clinch the Asia Cup under his captaincy.
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Later, team management opted for Shaw, but with him being asked to play Ranji Trophy, management decided to appoint Himanshu Rana as captain for the Asia Cup.
It can be said that the race to captaincy is between these three players, but Shaw holds an edge over Himanshu Rana and Abhishek Sharma.
The week-long tournament will see four teams taking on each other in its third edition.Players like Shubham Gill, Rahul Chahar, Kamlesh Nagarkoti and of course the three captains will be the star attraction, and the addition of Sri Lankan team will add to the flavour.
However, Prithvi Shaw, the Mumbai opener, will have to leave Ranji Trophy mid-way to participate in the tournament. India A and India U19 coach, Rahul Dravid, has mentioned that Shaw would be playing the junior World Cup to be played next year in New Zealand.
In 2016, India U19 side ended the tournament as defending champions under Ishan Kishan, before losing out to Windies in a low scoring encounter.
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