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Lorgat launches Under-19 World Cup

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Tim Murdoch, Haroon Lorgat & Denis Currie

Haroon Lorgat, centre, launches the 2010 Under-19 World Cup in Dunedin today alongside tournament director Tim Murdoch, left, and New Zealand Cricket president Denis Currie, right

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat highlighted the potential for international stars to emerge at the Under-19 World Cup, as he launched the 2010 competition in Dunedin on New Zealand’s south island today.

New Zealand hosts the 16-team biannual competition, which begins on January 15 with the final on January 28 in Queenstown.

Luke Wright, Tim Bresnan, Ravi Bopara and Alastair Cook, who captained his country in the 2004 tournament, are among England’s senior players who used the Under-19 World Cup as a stepping stone to stardom.

“It’s been shown over and over that a number of players come through this event, and very shortly afterwards they’re on the international arena in a meaningful way,” said Lorgat, speaking at the launch function at the University Oval.

Other international stars to make the grade include New Zealand’s Ross Taylor, who led the hosts in 2002, and South Africa’s Wayne Parnell, who played in the 2008 tournament in Malaysia.

“Wayne Parnell had hardly finished playing at the under-19 level when he was picked in the international side,” Lorgat continued.

“This reflects the close migration from the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup tournament to the international stage.”

He also reinforced the importance of the competition as one of the flagship events of the global game.

“It’s an extremely important event for us at the ICC,” he added. “We’ve pencilled this in as one of our major events going into the future.”

“The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup deserves to be put alongside the ICC Cricket World Cup, ICC World Twenty20, ICC Champions Trophy and the ICC Women’s World Cup.

“This ICC U19 CWC is the most important event that those under-19 players will play at this stage in their careers.”

Lorgat confirmed the ICC is in negotiations to boost the level of television coverage for the event, which will already see matches carried to a global broadcast audience of millions.

England, drawn in Group A, face Hong Kong on January 16, Afghanistan on January 18 and India on January 20 ahead of the quarter-final stage.