• The 2019 World Cup’s five best U21 players

    The 2019 World Cup featured eight players aged 21 or younger  – and these five stood out from the rest.

    Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Afghanistan

    • While team-mates and fellow youngsters Rashid Khan and Hazratullah Zazai weathered a disappointing campaigns, the 18-year-old Ur Rahman outshone several players his senior – and was particularly impressive against Bangladesh.

    Rishabh Pant, India 

    • A relatively surprise omission from the original squad, the 21-year-old Pant was eventually added as a replacement for the injured Shikhar Dhawan – and slotted into the middle-order for four fixtures. He gathered three promising starts, but never really converted appropriately.

    Avishka Fernando, Sri Lanka

    • Tipped as ‘one of the future stars’ by captain Dimuth Karunaratne, the 21-year-old right-hander struck a superb century  against the West Indies – and was key to Sri Lanka’s upset victory over eventual finalists England.

    Shaheen Afridi, Pakistan

    • The 19-year-old left-arm seamer played just five of Pakistan’s nine matches, but finished among the tournament’s top 10 wicket-takers. His 16 wickets came at an average of under 15 – and featured a career-best six for 35 against Bangladesh.

    Shadab Khan, Pakistan

    • Leg-spinners, including South Africa’s Imran Tahir, Australia’s Adam Zampa, New Zealand’s Ish Sodhi and others, were plentiful at the World Cup – and among them the 20-year-old Khan. South Africa and England were especially flummoxed by his talent.

    Photo: Getty Images

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