Kolkata, Nov 19 (IANS) The Under-19 cricketers of India, Afghanistan and Bangladesh are set to feature in a tri-series, starting at the Jadavpur University Salt Lake campus ground here on Friday. The series will be a platform for preparations for all the three sides as the U-19 World Cup is just a couple of months away.
The teams will play twice against each other and the top two outfits will battle it out in the final on November 29. India will start their campaign on the opening day against Bangladesh and the very next day the Rahul Dravid-coached side will take on Afghanistan. Afghanistan coach Dawlat Ahmadzai on Wednesday said that the cricketing facilities in their country have improved and the youngsters train in their very own National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Kabul.
“Almost all our cricketers train here nowadays. We have the NCA in Kabul where they practice. It also has indoor facilities,” Ahmadzai said. The coach added that they would want the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to come forward and help them have a camp in India before the U-19 World Cup in Bangladesh in January. India played a practice match among themselves on Wednesday after which Dravid sat and chatted with his team for 20 minutes. The batting legend then flew off to Bengaluru but will be here before the first game on Friday morning. The home team has some talented youngsters who have already made their mark in domestic cricket and are eager to do better at the international level. Mumbai’s Sarfaraz Khan, 18, who turned up for the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) last season, is one such star attraction. Sarfaraz impressed everyone with his strokeplay in the league and batted alongside the likes of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers. The team also has the services of Virat Singh and Ricky Bhui with the latter likely to lead the side.