It’s now less than a month until New Zealand play Scotland in their first match of the U-19 World Cup in Queensland, Australia.
On July 24th 15 of New Zealand’s brightest cricketing prospects will travel across the ditch to take on the world’s best. The man to lead them will be 19-year old Will Young.
The New Plymouth based right-hand batsmen was confirmed to captain the side in April, having been skipper for a previous tournament earlier in the year.
Despite having experience in the role, the talented youngster was still a little lost for words when it was made official.
“Yeah, I was really proud. My parents were pretty proud too,” Young admitted.
“It is a big honour to represent my country, let alone be captain. Hopefully I can captain well over in Australia and help the team to do well.”
The team may well have a head-start on previous years, having participated in the Quadrangular series with Australia, India and England in April.
Young believes the benefits from facing some of the powerhouses of cricket were massive, but also points out the trip gave them a good opportunity to learn about conditions over there as well.
“It was really good, they’re the top teams in the world and to get that experience against them was great,” Young said.
“We managed to beat India who won the competition, and narrowly lost to England and Australia so we know we can compete with them.
“The conditions were definitely a lot different to New Zealand. It was hotter, harder and faster.
“Also the outfield was faster and gave you better value for your shots which was nice.”
Young is no stranger to playing amongst some of the best, having played four matches for Central Districts in the Plunkett Shield.
Although his selection came as a ‘bit of a surprise’ by his own admission, his potential was obvious, finishing unbeaten twice and bringing up a first-class half-century.
There are big opportunities in front of this up and-comer, but for now all he is concentrating on is the team’s preparation for the World Cup.
With their build up in Australia just around the corner the side will have a busy couple of weeks before play starts.
“We have two weeks to acclimatise and four warm-up matches, so we’ll be trying to build up as much confidence in that time as we can,” Young said.
“We’ll be working hard and hopefully it will all come together when it comes time to play.”
There’s little question over Young’s determination and with the skill he possesses he could be an important part of the Kiwi’s challenge.
New Zealand’s first match is August 12th. On the 26th the final for the cup will be played.
It’d be surprising if Young hadn’t dreamed of lifting it a time or two...