From Ben McKinney to Luc Benkenstein: 5 England Players To Watch Out For In U-19 World Cup 2024
England have always churned out some exciting youngsters in the Under-19 World Cup. Several players from the U-19 teams have gone on to grace international cricket with finesse. As a new season gears, the eyes will be on the youngsters again.
There are several exciting names in the squad named for the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2024. Most of them are certain to shine in the tournament with their supreme expertise. England failed to cross the final hurdle last time, and the new batch will look to take them though this time around.
We look at the five English players to watch out for in the U-19 World Cup.
Ben McKinney, the captain of the England U-19 team this year, is among the brightest talents in the country. He is a left-handed batter who can also bowl useful off-spin with the ball. McKinney has played only four List-A games so far.
He gave glimpses of his superior skillsets in the Quadrangular U1-19 series when McKinney stood tall for his team amidst a collapse to score vital 56 runs in an innings where only three English batters could reach double figures. In the first ICC U-19 warm-up game against Afghanistan U-19, McKinney again stood tall to score a quick-fire 40 in a losing cause. He is an aggressive batter suited for the modern-day style of English cricket.
Hamza Shaikh looks certain to score plenty of runs for England U-19 this World Cup. A middle-order batter, Hamza has been among the most consistent batters for his team recently. In the Youth ODI Series against Australia U-19, Shaikh impressed one and all with his technique and consistency.
He scored 235 runs at an average of 47 in five innings in the series. In the Quadrangular series, Shaikh was the top-scorer for his team, scoring 409 runs at a fabulous average of 58.42 and a strike rate of 107.91. He also amassed one fifty and two centuries, showcasing his class.
Luc Benkenstein, the vice-captain of England’s U-19 World Cup team, is an all-rounder with massive potential. He is a right-handed batter who also bowls leg-spin with the ball. He came into the limelight when he took six wickets while conceding only 42 runs against Glamorgan in the Royal London Cup.
Benkenstein also featured in the Pakistan Junior League in 2022, where he impressed one and all with his all-round abilities. He was the second-leading run-scorer, scoring 227 runs at an average of 32.42 and a strike rate of 153.37. Benkenstein was also the second-leading run-scorer in the Quadrangular series in India, accumulating 262 runs at an average of 45.33 and a strike rate of 103.81, including two fifties. He also took four wickets in the competition.
Essex have produced some quality players, and there are a few of them in England’s U-19 World Cup squad. Noah Thain is among those players. He is a right-arm batter and a capable medium-pacer.
Thain has featured in six List-A games and scored 159 runs at an average of 39.75, including two fifties. His most notable performance came against India B U-19 in the Quadrangular series. He first snared two wickets and then scored a vital 51 to help his team win the game.
Edward Vaughan Jack
Edward Vaughan Jack is a tall right-arm pacer from Hampshire who can bowl effectively with the new ball. Jack will play a crucial role in this World Cup. The conditions will favour the new-ball bowlers, and Jack will have the responsibility of providing early breakthroughs.
Eddie bowled brilliantly against Bangladesh U-19 in the Quadrangular series. He took five wickets to derail Bangladesh’s innings in a 323-run chase. His terrific spell helped England U-19 win the game by 13 runs.