Emerging Players to Watch Under 21: Men Part 1

Jamie Cairns, Emerging cricket
Jamie Cairns (Ian Jacobs)

Jamie Cairns

Left-arm orthodox

Taking twelve wickets in four matches at an economy below three, Jamie Cairns was instrumental in Scotland’s U19 World Cup qualification, made more remarkable considering that he turned 16 just three months before the tournament started.

Stifling opposition in the middle overs with fellow left-arm spinner Charlie Peet, Cairns claimed 5-15 in under seven overs against Denmark, also claiming a three-wicket haul against the Netherlands. Partial to a ‘celebrappeal’, Cairns dismissed Dutchman Shirase Rasool LBW without turning around to the umpire, though it did take an extra shout from Scottish ‘keeper Tom Mackintosh to convince the man in the middle to raise the finger.

Delivering with a simple action, Cairns’ arm speed and multiple grips disguise his flight well, and will benefit from another U19 World Cup cycle.

Jonathan Figy, Emerging Cricket
Jonathan Figy (ICC Media Zone)

Jonathan Figy
United Arab Emirates
Left-hand batsman

Another member of the young UAE crop, Dubai-born Figy has fine-tuned his game in England, taking a cricket scholarship in 2017. Breaking school records both at Winchester College and back home at the Abu Dhabi Indian School, Figy has since moved onto university in Leeds, juggling various international cricket commitments with his studies.

Figy’s hard work culminated in a senior One Day International debut against Scotland in December, where he made a comfortable 23 before top-edging a whipped pull shot to Josh Davey in the deep. A left-hander that takes guard a fraction outside leg stump, Figy plays to his strength as a solid front-foot player on both sides of the wicket, almost enticing bowlers to attack his stumps. Technically solid on the drive with a high elbow, Figy also punishes those bowling too straight with pleasing whips of his pads.

Figy was UAE’s top-scorer at the U19 World Cup earlier this year, where he made an effortless, unbeaten 102 against Canada in an eight-wicket victory.

Rit Gautam, Emerging Cricket
Rit Gautam (CricketingNepal)

Rit Gautam
Right-hand batsman

Is Rit Gautam the answer for Nepal’s woes at the top of the order? After scores of 84 against an Indian U-19 team and a century against Singapore in the ACC U-19 Eastern Region last year at the top of the order, fans seem to think so.

Described as a ‘pure’ opener by MyRepublica’s Rajan Shah, Gautam has earned the plaudits through patience at the top order and match awareness. By no means a finished product, Gautam’s early success is predicated by good shot selection, and playing the ball late under his eyes. Also making fifty against Sri Lanka at last year’s U19 Asian Cup, the next test will be consistent runs against quicker bowling at the senior level.


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