Australia hosted the inaugural edition of the Youth World Cup – that was what it was originally called – in 1988, two hundred years after the First Fleet arrived in the country from Great Britain.
The Bicentennial Celebrations included several events. The sporting events included the Women’s Cricket World Cup in Perth, a Trans-Australia hot air balloon race from Perth to Sydney, the Bicentennial Classic golf tournament at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club – and the inaugural Youth World Cup, sponsored by McDonald’s.
While the tournament was essentially organised by Cricket Australia, the ICC played its part. The seven Full Members played along with the of ICC Associates XI, a team consisting of cricketers from Associate Nations. This was a motley crew, consisting of four Zimbabweans, and two from each of Bangladesh, Bermuda, Canada, Denmark, and the Netherlands. South Africa remained banned.
The tournament was played in Round-Robin League format. Australia topped the league table, winning six of their seven matches and losing only to Pakistan, who finished third in the league, below the West Indies but above England. The ICC Associates XI lost every match to finish last.
Before their last match, India, having won three out of six matches, had a chance for a semi-final spot if they beat Sri Lanka, already out of the hunt, in their last match. They restricted Sri Lanka to 190/9, but were bowled out for 140.
The teams went under the names Young Cricketers and not Under-19s. The league matches were played across multiple non-Test venues across the country, but both semi-finals and the final were played in Adelaide Oval. Neither side went through.
The first semi-final was a tense affair. At one point Pakistan needed eight runs to beat West Indies with two wickets in hand, but they won in the end. Australia won the other semi-final easily despite Mark Alleyne’s heroics.
Australia, easily the best side of the tournament, avenged their defeat in the league stage with a comfortable win against Pakistan in the final. They needed only 203, and Brett Williams (108) saw them home in the 46th over.
Despite the success, the idea was shelved for a decade. The next edition did not take place until 1998.
Semi-final 1: West Indies 203/8 in 50 overs (Jimmy Adams 65; Shakeel Khan 2-37) lost to Pakistan 204/8 in 47.5 overs (Shahid Anwar 76; Jimmy Adams 2-26) by 2 wickets with 13 balls to spare.
Semi-final 2: England 194 in 50 overs (Nasser Hussain 58; Wayne Holdsworth 2-47) lost to Australia 196/3 in 45.2 overs (Brett Williams 57; Mark Alleyne 1-30) by 7 wickets with 28 balls to spare. Player of the Match: Mark Alleyne.
Final: Pakistan 201 in 49.3 overs (Inzamam-ul-Haq 37; Geoff Parker 3-36) lost to Australia 202/5 in 45.5 overs (Brett Williams 108; Mushtaq Ahmed 2-59) by 5 wickets with 25 balls to spare. Player of the Match: Brett Williams.
Most runs: Brett Williams (Australia, 437), Stuart Law (Australia, 352), Nasser Hussain (England, 330)
Most wickets: Wayne Holdsworth (Australia, 19), Mushtaq Ahmed (Pakistan, 19), Chris Lewis (England, 16), Chris Cairns (New Zealand, 16)
Australia: Stuart Law, Alan Mullally (England Seniors)
England: Michael Atherton, Nasser Hussain, Chris Lewis, Mark Ramprakash
India: Pravin Amre, Venkatapathy Raju, Nayan Mongia
New Zealand: Lee Germon, Andy Caddick (England Seniors), Chris Cairns, Chris Pringle, Shane Thompson
Pakistan: Aaqib Javed, Basit Ali, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Mushtaq Ahmed
Sri Lanka: Sanath Jayasuriya, Romesh Kaluwitharana, Chandika Hathurusingha
West Indies: Brian Lara, Jimmy Adams, Ridley Jacobs