Monday 3 March 2008 

Tim Southee Claims Player Of The Tournament Award

Although it was the India team that lifted the ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup after last night’s thrilling final in Kinrara Oval, there was consolation for the side India beat in the semi-final, New Zealand, as its opening bowler Tim Southee was named as the Player of the Tournament for his remarkable overall performance.

Southee has been the stand-out bowler of the event with his consistent line and length, coupled with good pace and a real competitive edge. The Northland man finished on 11 points, two ahead of his nearest rival, despite having played one game fewer than some of his rivals.

The points were allocated by the ICC umpires at each match with those officials awarding three points for their choice as man of the match, second choice getting two points and the third pick receiving one.

Those points were then added up to produce the Player of the Tournament. All matches, including those in the Super League play-offs and final as well as the Plate Championship, were included in the process.

Southee was awarded at least two points in every match that he played and one man-of-the-match performance, and it is a tribute to his dominance that he wins this award having played five matches while many other players turned out in six.

Speaking from New Zealand, Southee said: “I played in the last U/19 CWC in Sri Lanka and it did not go as well as I would have liked. I thought long and hard about what happened there in planning for this tournament.

“I decided that I did not want to do anything different, just stick to a very simple game plan of concentrating on length. I thought that if I did this, the low and slow nature of the wickets would make it difficult to score and that would put added pressure on the batsmen.

“I also wanted to do well at this tournament amongst my own age group. It’s true that I did get to play for the Black Caps in the Twenty20 Internationals against England but I was always looking forward to this tournament. I believe I have matured as a cricketer over the last two years and hopefully my performances show that.”

Southee has picked up several admirers during this tournament, not least his coach, Dipak Patel.

“The great secret to Tim's bowling over the tournament was his consistency,” said Patel, who himself played 37 Tests and 75 ODIs for New Zealand.

“To be an attacking bowler on the unresponsive wickets we faced was difficult, but not only did he take wickets, he also restricted runs. The pressure he exerted at the top of the innings often turned into wickets.

“Prior to the tournament he’d had a taste of international cricket being in the Black Caps team for the Twenty20 series against England. He came back into our set up with added maturity and a confidence to assume the senior player’s role. It was not something we asked of him but something he took upon himself.

“The standards he set on the field were reflected in those he displayed off. The fact that he won the award with fewer games than others speaks volumes about his overall performance throughout the entire tournament,” said Patel.

Southee saw off stiff competition from Sri Lanka’s talented batsman Sachith Pathirana, who ended with nine points. Another point further back was Nepal’s inspirational captain Paras Khadka and Virat Kohli of India.

Had Kohli won the man of the match award in the final, he would have snatched the Player of the Tournament award from under Southee’s nose because although they would have ended on the same number of points, Kohli would have been declared the winner on account of winning more MOM awards during the tournament.

But it was Ajitesh Argal who was named man of the match in the final for his devastating early spell of bowling against South Africa and so Southee takes the top honour.

This is Southee’s second appearance at the U/19 CWC. He has already played nine first-class matches for Northern Districts and was selected for the senior New Zealand side in two Twenty20 Internationals earlier this season.

In the five U/19 CWC 2008 matches he played, Southee took 17 wickets at a remarkable average of just 6.64 and an almost as impressive economy rate of 2.52 runs per over. He took 5-11 in one game against Zimbabwe at Johor Cricket Academy.

Final Player of the Tournament points standings

ELEVEN

Tim Southee (NZ) 2, 2, 2, 3, 2

NINE

Sachith Pathirana (SL) 2, 3, 2, 2

EIGHT

Paras Khadka (Nep) 2, 3, 3

Virat Kohli (Ind) 2, 3, 3

SIX

Ali Asad (Pak) 3, 3

Steven Jacobs (WI) 3, 3

Jonathan Vandiar (SA) 1, 3, 2

Wayne Parnell (SA) 1, 1, 3, 1

FIVE

Adil Raza (Pak) 3, 2

Md Sohrawardi Shuvo (Ban) 2, 3

Taruwar Kohli (Ind) 2, 3

Shamarh Brooks (WI) 2, 3

Tanmay Srivastava (Ind) 3, 2

Daniel Landman (Zim) 1, 1, 3

James Taylor (Eng) 2, 2, 1

© ICC