With just seven weeks to go for the start of the ICC U-19 World Cup 2012, all 16 sides have submitted their provisional squads, with Australia naming Pat Cummins, the fast bowler, and West Indies including Kraigg Brathwaite, the opening batsman, in their line-ups.
The ninth edition of the tournament will take place in Queensland, Australia, from August 11-26 with Australia going in as defending champions by virtue of their 25-run win over Pakistan in the final of the previous edition in Lincoln, New Zealand, in 2010.
Cummins, the 19-year-old from New South Wales, took seven wickets in his debut Test against South Africa in Johannesburg last year, and played in three One-Day Internationals on the same tour, which Australia won 2-1. He is currently ranked 64th and 222nd in the ICC rankings for Test and ODI bowlers respectively.
Brathwaite, the right-hand batsman, most recently represented the West Indies in the home series against Australia in April. He has so far played nine Tests after making his debut against Pakistan last year and is currently ranked 94th among Test batsmen.
Apart from Cummins and Brathwaite's inclusions in the provisional squads, which will certainly spice up the event billed as a finishing school for future stars, England, which won the second edition of the U-19 World Cup under the captaincy of Owais Shah in 1998 in South Africa, will be led by Adam Ball, the middle-order batsman who has thus far played nine first-class matches for county side Kent.
George Dockrell, the left-arm spinner, will make his second successive appearance in the tournament and will be leading Ireland. Dockrell also showed his talent, prowess and potential in World Cup 2011 which was staged in the subcontinent, and is best remembered for claiming the wicket of India's Sachin Tendulkar. He has thus far represented Ireland in 28 ODIs taking 35 wickets, apart from featuring in 18 first-class matches.
New Zealand will be led by Will Young, a right-hand batsman. Young made his first-class debut for New Zealand's state side Central Districts in March this year and has so far played in four first-class matches. New Zealand reached the final of the U-19 World Cup in 1998, where they lost to England by seven wickets.
The provisional squads also include Meyrick Buchanan, son of former Australia coach and current Director of Cricket with New Zealand Cricket (NZC) John Buchanan, and Usman Qadir, son of Pakistan's iconic spinner Abdul Qadir.
India named nine players in the 30-man squad who have played first-class cricket. They are Unmukt Chand, Manan Vohra, Akhil Herwadkar, Kumar Deobrat, Aparajith Baba, Sandeep Sharma, Ravi Singh, Vikas Mishra and Chirag Khurana.
All teams are expected to name their final 15-member squads 30 days before the first match. As such, all 16 sides are expected to announce their final line-ups by July 11.
Players from 10 Full Member countries born on or after September 1, 1992 are eligible to participate in the U-19 World Cup 2012, while the eligibility criteria for the six Associate and Affiliate Members is September 1, 1991.