From Harkirat Bajwa to Harjas Singh: 5 Australia Players to Watch Out for in U19 World Cup 2024
South Africa is slated to host the ICC U19 World Cup 2024, which kicks off on January 19. This event will feature 16 teams, presenting a diverse array of emerging talents from various parts of the globe. Australia is of the most successful teams in the history of the U19 World Cup, having clinched three titles in the 14 editions held to date.
Ranked as the second-most successful team in the U19 Men's Cricket World Cup following India, Australia's first victory occurred in the inaugural year of 1988. In that tournament, hosted in their own country, they secured a triumph by defeating Pakistan by five wickets. The leadership of Cameron White propelled Australia to their second victory in 2002 in New Zealand. Their most recent success took place in 2010 when they emerged victorious against Pakistan in the summit clash.
With another exciting edition in the offing, let's take a look at 5 Aussie stars who can steal the limelight in the tournament.
1. Harry Dixon
At just 18 years old, Harry Dixon is drawing comparisons to his childhood idol David Warner. His exceptional performance during the UK campaign in 2023 showcased a remarkable run of form against England's U19s. Following a noteworthy 209-ball 167, he contributed with a second-innings 87 and then posted scores of 51 and 105 in the second Test at Northampton.
In February against the same opposition, he displayed his prowess by scoring 148 off 125 in a one-day match and later added an impressive 84 not out off 56 in a T20 at the same venue. This outstanding youth form also earned him his first professional contract, a two-year deal with BBL franchise Melbourne Renegades.
Australia U19 opener Harry Dixon with a brilliant 104-ball century at AB Oval.— Josh Schönafinger (@joshschon) February 13, 2023
Since bringing up the ton has hit three sixes in a row off England spinner Yousef Majid - including one onto the roof of the curators’ office #AUSvENGU19 pic.twitter.com/6tnQXaq9uu
2. Sam Konstas
Sam Konstas, a promising talent from Sutherland, has lived up to his long-standing expectations for success. At 18, he has garnered significant admiration and secured a call-up to the senior New South Wales team in First Class cricket. Konstas showcased his skills with an unbeaten hundred in a U19 one-day match against England during their August UK tour, contributing to the tourists claiming victories in both the 50-over and four-day series.
3. Raf MacMillan
Rafael, an 18-year-old right-arm off-spinner and a proficient lower/middle-order right-hand batter has developed into an impressive spin bowling prospect. Renowned for his ability to extract turn and bounce on any surface, he exhibits exceptional consistency and variety across all formats. Raf enjoyed a fruitful Premier Cricket season in 2021/22, securing 15 wickets in 2nd Grade at an average of 17.4 from nine matches. During the five-match Youth ODI series between Australia and England, Rafael emerged as the leading wicket-taker, claiming 10 wickets.
4. Harjas Singh
Originating from a modest upbringing, Harjas Singh has embarked on an inspirational journey from the Revesby Workers Cricket Club to represent the Australia U19 team. Hailing from Sydney, he is the offspring of a professional in the travel industry.
Harjas Singh, a left-handed batter, takes pride in his Indian roots. Throughout his childhood, Harjas' parents consistently provided unwavering support as he pursued a career in cricket. Harjas made significant contributions to the Australia U19 side, showcasing his prowess by scoring a remarkable century against England in Northampton and notching up 90 runs in another notable performance against England in Beckenham.
If you're wondering who the young man wearing the turban in the 🇦🇺 dugout is, let us introduce you to Harjas Singh.— 🏏Flashscore Cricket Commentators (@FlashCric) January 5, 2023
You'll hear more of him soon - he struck a ton at age 16 in Sydney's club competition as well as in the Aus U19 Ch'ships last year #AUSvSApic.twitter.com/DREgVp2wwm
5. Harkirat Bajwa
Bajwa, hailing from Melbourne, is a right-handed batter who bowls off-spin. Originally from Mohali, Bajwa represented the squad during the previous U-19 World Cup held in the West Indies in 2022, where Australia faced a setback in the quarter-finals. He aspires to contribute to a better performance and surpass their previous record in the upcoming tournament.