Sport is something that thrives on passion and nothing fuels that passion more than young blood. The youth stars in any sport are bound to excite fans. 2019 saw many young players emerge onto the international cricket scene. Here are 5 of our favourite breakout young cricketers to follow in 2020.
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5. Mohammad Hasnain
Hasnain made his international debut back in March against Australia. A personal favourite of former Chief Selector Inzamam Ul Haq, Hasnain was the chat of the town because of his fiery pace. He has an impressive PSL season with the Quetta Gladiators, where he clocked speeds of up to 151 kph. He played a pivotal role in the Gladiators PSL win as batsmen from around the globe struggled to deal with his incredible pace. The young quick got his best figures in the tournament picking up 3/30 against Peshawar Zalmi in the final. He is a fitting example of the cliché stereotype of Pakistan being the breeding ground for world-class fast bowlers. He was selected for the Pakistani World Cup squad; however, he was unfortunate to miss out on all the games. Still, he is an exciting prospect and the is bound to reach great levels of success.
Source: Newsweek Pakistan
4. Washington Sundar
Like Ashwin, this youngster hails from Tamil Nadu. An impressive all-rounder, with incredible command over his off-spin bowling, the youngster represents Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. However, his previous IPL season in 2017 was more impressive as he racked up the best bowling figures in an IPL final. This year though was the year he clicked for the Indian national side. He has been a pivotal person in the Indian national T20I side and is often compared to Yuvraj Singh. We expect him to replicate his role in the squad in the upcoming future.
3. Oshane Thomas
The young pacer from the Caribbean had an impressive year. He became a regular in the West Indies side and displayed various praiseworthy performances. In March 2019, he was named as one of the 8 players by the ICC to keep an eye out for the upcoming IPL season. He was subsequently named in the West Indies squad for the World Cup where he was named man of the match in the thrashing of Pakistan. He received a central contract from the West Indies board soon after and was also named as Emerging player of the year by Cricket West Indies.
2. Shaheen Shah Afridi
Although he was brought to the side in 2018, 2019 was the year he has become one of the most exciting bowlers of the world and an important member of the Pakistani cricket team. He put up excellent performances in all 3 formats of the game and has provided Pakistan with the needed replacement of the injured Hassan Ali. The youngster rose to the 23rd spot for the ICC bowler rankings in ODIs. He also has the best bowling figures this year in ODIs, which were also the best figures at the ICC World Cup 2019. His 6/35 against Bangladesh in the final game was a spell to remember. He has the potential to be one of the greats of the game if he remains consistent.
1. Jofra Archer
What a year this man has had. From almost representing the West Indies to winning the World Cup with England. He was certainly the breakout star this year across all formats. Through his first-class and franchise cricket performances, he was finally picked for the England team to play fixtures against Ireland and Pakistan, and the accomplishments in these fixtures earned him a place in the English World Cup squad. His incredible performances in the World Cup was something out of a dream. He secured 20 wickets in just 11 wickets playing of the most important roles in England’s memorable cup win. A smooth and rhythmic run-up and natural pace made him an excellent partner for Chris Woakes with the new ball. He was named in the World Cup team of the tournament. He was also selected for the Ashes series where he was the third-highest wicket-taker with 22 wickets. No one has had such an instant impact on international cricket as Archer as had. He is destined to become a legend and definitely the one to follow in 2020.
Source: Fox Sports (Feature image source: YouTube)