Australia have announced a 15-member squad for the upcoming U19 Men's Cricket World Cup starting January 13, 2024, in South Africa. The squad is filled with players who participated in the U19 Ashes (dual) this year and helped Australia win eight games while England won three.
The recently concluded U19 Male National Championships came across as an opportunity for the youngsters to impress the selectors for the one final time before the squad announcement and a few players cashed in big time.
Sam Konstas was one of those players as he played a brilliant knock of 63* in the summit clash against Queensland and helped NSW Metro clinch the title. Konstas was awarded the Player of the Match for his crucial knock. He already has a Big Bash League contract with Sydney Thunder.
Aiden O'Connor also stood out with his impressive outings in the tournament. The Tasmanian batter clinched the Brain Taber Medal after being announced as the Player of the Tournament for scoring 208 runs with the willow in hand.
Among other star performers of the tournament is Harry Dixon, who aggregated 222 runs at the U19 Male National Championships and has been added to the squad. He, too, has a BBL contract, with Melbourne Renegades.
Notably, the U19 World Cup was originally scheduled to be played in Sri Lanka before the ICC suspended Sri Lanka Cricket for the government's interference in the administration's decision-making. The suspension also led to Sri Lanka Cricket getting stripped of its U19 World Cup hosting rights.
Coincidentally, South Africa also played host to the inaugural edition of the Women's U19 World Cup in January.
Australia Under 19 World Cup squad:
Lachlan Aitken, Charlie Anderson, Harkirat Bajwa, Mahli Beardman, Tom Campbell, Harry Dixon, Ryan Hicks, Sam Konstas, Rafael MacMillan, Aidan O’Connor, Harjas Singh, Tom Straker, Callum Vidler, Corey Wasley, Hugh Weibgen