At a time when all other Cricket playing nations are giving maximum exposure to Younger Players, Sri Lanka are doing just the opposite. At a time, when their counterparts have been taking World’s most lucrative T20 League by Storm, Sri Lanka are reluctant to give their best U19 batsman Hasitha Boyagoda a chance to showcase his talent even in the Meaningless (In term of result) Domestic Tournament!
Prithvi Shaw, the 19 year old batting prodigy of India who announced himself at the global stage in the U19 World Cup in New Zealand earlier this year, has become the backbone of Delhi Daredevils batting lineup in no time in the ongoing edition of Indian Premier League (IPL).
Rashid Khan, 19 year old bowling sensation, has already become the best spinner in the world, even before entering to his twenties. In IPL too, where world’s best players shows their talent, Rashid has proved that he has the game to succeed at any level. In Pakistan, meanwhile, Shadab Khan, another 18 year old bowling sensation, has just become the first overseas bowler in the 91 years of English Cricket History to take 10 wickets in a County match, when he achieved the feat during a warm match.
In Sri Lanka, things are bleak! Not that the Island don’t have the young batting/bowling prodigies. They have! More than enough actually! Hasitha Boyagoda re-scripted batting records during the U19 World Cup in New Zealand, even after he was forced to warm on the bench for the group stage matches. Now, the highest individual score in a world Cup history (191) belongs to Boyagoda!
Boyagoda, Sri Lanka’s under-19 opener whose blistering 191 at the Youth World Cup caught the world’s eye, was sidelined once again by Team Kandy during the ongoing Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Inter Provincial One Day Tournament, which has now reached the semi-final stage.
The masterful opener who is a product of Trinity College Kandy, has been in good nick since the World Cup hammering two centuries, and continued his good form during the domestic school tournament, but Team Kandy has failed to give him exposure at the next level.
There are a number of under-19 players in the ongoing Provincial level tournament, namely: Kamindu Mendis, Nishan Madushanka, Ashen Bandara and Jehan Daniel, but Kandy continues to sideline Boyagoda.
Boyagoda let his bat do the talking when he was sidelined from the SL under-19 team during the World Cup. He hammered a record-breaking 191 when he was given the chance, followed by another century in the last match. His good form continued after he returned to the domestic circuit, where he scored a century in their big match. But he is yet to be given the necessary exposure in the Provincial team, where he has been warming the bench for too long, watching Kandy lose four out of their five matches in the tournament.
Earlier SLC boasted about the inclusion of under-19 players in the Provincial squads and said they will get much needed experience from the tournament. Several teams decided to give exposure to under-19 players in their team and they delivered whenever they were given the opportunity. However, the most successful opener of the SL under-19 team is yet to get a single match, even though Kandy has used five openers so far in the tournament.
In contrast, India has included their under-19 players in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and given them exposure at the next level, which is going to come in handy when those players graduate to play for the National team, while also giving the youngsters an opportunity to showcase their talent for the selectors.
According to the National selectors, it’s the job of each coach, manager and captain of Provincial teams to select the 15 and playing 11 after selectors named the Provincial squads.