West Indies allrounder Kieron Pollard believes promising cricketers assembling in Queensland next month for the International Cricket Council’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2012, to be staged from August 11 to 26, will have an excellent opportunity to break into international cricket if they manage to produce solid performances.
Pollard himself played at the ICC U19 CWC 2006 in Sri Lanka and scored 19 runs besides taking two wickets. After showing flashes of brilliance, Pollard made his ODI debut in April 2007 against South Africa. Now, the 25-year-old Trinidadian is one of the most popular international cricketers across the globe.
“A successful ICC U19 CWC fast tracks your entry into international cricket. Once you perform on the ICC U19 CWC level, then you have the ability to do it in any international tournament. It is just the age barrier that can stop you from breaking very early in your career,” said Pollard.
“Guys who have done really well at the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup have been graduated into senior teams. For example, Virat Kholi was selected in the India side after success at a very young age. The Sri Lanka event was really a good one for me.
“The ICC U19 CWC does give you the impetus to go forward when you have performed at the U19 level. Once you have an event to go to like the ICC Cricket World Cup, you always look forward to giving your best.
“Young players look forward to those sorts of things and exciting experiences, and obviously it’s a stepping stone for you in what you consider your profession. And as I said before, it gives you an insight of what international cricket will be all about,” said Pollard.
Pollard said the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup not only provided him an opportunity to break into the international scene but also helped him prepare for bigger things in cricket.
“The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup gave me an opportunity to come on the international scene, do my best and feel how international tournaments are going to be.
“During the course of the event, I learnt that as you grow and rise, the competition gets stiffer. It (competition) gets a lot better, so all the bad balls that you’d get in a club cricket match you don’t get in international tournament. (ICC Cricket)