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Prithvi Shaw vs Jason Sangha: ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup will see an Indian winning captain

India will be rooting for Prithvi Shaw’s team but a few Indians will be hoping the Australia team led by Jason Sangha, who is of Indian origin, emerges victorious in the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup final in New Zealand on Saturday.

cricket Updated: Feb 02, 2018 17:50 IST
Shalini Gupta
Shalini Gupta
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup final,U-19 Cricket World Cup final,Prithvi Shaw
Captains Prithvi Shaw of India and Jason Sangha of Australia pose with the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup trophy ahead of the final on Saturday. (Twitter )

Regardless of who wins the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup at Mount Maunganui, New Zealand on Saturday, an Indian skipper will be beaming ear to ear.

There is no doubt Indian fans will cheer and pray for skipper Prithvi Shaw and his team, but the Australia skipper will also count on some Indians in his corner.

Shaw’s counterpart Jason Sangha is of Indian origin. His father Kuldeep Sangha is from Punjab and migrated to Australia in the 1980s. Jason is the first Indian-origin player to lead Australia at any level of cricket.

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It will be an emotional moment for the Sanghas when the national anthems of the two countries are played at the Bay Oval before the game. While they will be proud of their son leading Australia, they will feel the connect with their country of origin when the Indian national anthem is played.

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“It will be an emotional day for us. We are so proud of Jason and the Australian boys on making the final. It was an unbelievable feeling to witness the hard work the boys put in to make the finals,” said Jason’s mother Sylvia Sangha, who has been in New Zealand since Australia’s warm-up matches.

Jason’s father Kuldeep was originally from Bathinda and a state-level athlete. He moved to Australia for higher education. Jason has been making a name for himself in Australian cricket. He scored 88 against Papua New Guinea and 58 in the quarterfinal victory over England. All-rounder Param Uppal, another cricketer of Indian origin, who was born in Chandigarh, is also in the team.

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Sylvia exuded excitement. “The Indian community is very proud that Australia have a captain of Indian origin. They all wish him the best and are supporting the Australian boys fully. It would be great to see Jason lift the World Cup.”

Sylvia will be joined by her husband and daughter before the final. Sylvia watched Shubman Gill’s match-winning 102 against Pakistan in the semifinals. Gill and Abhishek Sharma are both from Punjab, like Jason and Param Uppal.

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“It’s amazing to watch the Punjabi boys shine. They are all very talented, and highly respected. I’m sure they will be great cricketers in the future,” said Sylvia, who mostly travels with Jason on tours.

The Sanghas own a chain of four restaurants called Raj’s Corner in Newcastle, a port town in New South Wales. Jason hogged the limelight when he became the youngest cricketer since Sachin Tendulkar to score a first-class century against England, aged 18 years and 71 days.

Sylvia is confident her son has impressed the national selectors and a transition to the senior Australian team may not be far away. But she advocates the focus should be on the World Cup. “Jason is already contracted to New South Wales and Sydney Thunder. He has a long way to go and this is an important part of the journey to the top. We hope to take one step at a time, and next step is to win the final, hopefully.”

India beat Australia in the opening game by 100 runs, which makes Shaw’s side heavy favourites.

First Published: Feb 02, 2018 17:50 IST