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ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup: VVS Laxman Hails 'Resilient' Indian Colts

India's campaign in the ICC U-19 World Cup 2022 was nearly derailed after six players, including skipper Yash Dhull and his deputy Shaik Rasheed, tested positive for COVID-19.

India U-19 cricketers celebrate with the trophy after winning the ICC U-19 World Cup 2022.
India U-19 cricketers celebrate with the trophy after winning the ICC U-19 World Cup 2022. Photo: ICC

After India's unprecedented fifth ICC U-19 World Cup win, National Cricket Academy (NCA) head VVS Laxman hailed the Yash Dhull-led team's "resilience and positive attitude". (More Cricket News)

India defeated England by four wickets in the final of ICC U-19 World Cup 2022 for a record-extending fifth title at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua on Sunday.

"In the middle of this tournament, we all know what happened to the boys," Laxman told the official broadcaster moments after Dinesh Bana hit the winning runs. "To test positive, but to show that kind of resilience and positive attitude, was exemplary."

Laxman accompanied the team to the West Indies for the tournament.

Indian colts, who overcame a COVID-19 outbreak, dismissed England for 189 in 44.5 overs with Raj Bawa (5/31) recording the best-ever figures in a U-19 World Cup final after Ravi Kumar (4/34) gave a dream start. India then chased down the target in 47.4 overs with Bana hitting back-to-back sixes to seal the win in style.

The batting great lauded the BCCI for running a world-class youth structure and organising innumerable, competitive age-group tournaments.

"I think the BCCI has to be complemented. The number of matches and tournaments each age group level gets to play, whether U-16, U-19 or U-23... unfortunately due to COVID-19 they didn't get to play any tournament and that's why I think this tournament win is very special," the 47-year-old added.

Laxman also congratulated the selectors and the coaching staff.

"Huge congratulations to the selection committee, because it was a new selection committee and it was quite challenging for them to identify this group and after that I think it's the coaching staff with Hrishikesh [Kanitkar] as the head coach and all the support staff. The way they brought this group together, they worked really hard and won the Asia Cup and the preparation to this World Cup was fantastic.

India's campaign in the 14th edition of the tournament was nearly derailed after six players, including skipper Yash Dhull and his deputy Shaik Rasheed, tested positive for the virus during the group stages.

"It's a proud moment to achieve something for India," Dhull said at the post-match presentation. "At first it was difficult to find our combinations in the tournament but then we became like a family. Sir [head coach Hrishikesh Kanitkar] made it a good environment and team strength was good."

Kanitkar praised Dhull for leading the side to the title.

"It's too exciting for my good, but happy with the result. I think we learned a lot from this. We were looking to bat as well. There was a little bit of moisture.

"(Dhull) led them very well. He has a very good head on his shoulders. I think it's a fabulous competition, getting this stage to perform at this young age, for all teams. It's a great opportunity to showcase talent and for the academies around the world," Kanitkar said.

It was India's eighth final with four on the trot. They had previously won the title in 2000, 2008, 2012 and 2018.

(With agency inputs)

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