Open-top bus parade planned for Under-19 stars
The victorious Indian Under-19 team will arrive in Bangalore on March 4 and, in a repeat of the celebrations seen after the senior team won the Twenty20 world cup, will ride in an open-top double-decker bus from the Bangalore airport to the Chinnaswamy Stadium, Brijesh Patel, the general secretary of the Karnataka State Cricket Association, said.
They will be felicitated by Sharad Pawar, the BCCI president, in a function at the ground at 6 pm and the board will also host a dinner at the Grand Ashok hotel. The function is being organised by the KSCA along with Vijay Mallya's IPL franchise, Bangalore Royal Challengers. The Indian board has already announced a cash reward of Rs 15 lakh (US$37,500 approx) for each of the players.
India beat South Africa by 12 runs in the U-19 World Cup final in Kuala Lumpur. The team were unbeaten through the competition and beat South Africa twice in the event. It means India's U-19 side have lost just one game in the last two World Cups - the final loss to Pakistan in the last edition in 2006.
In September last year a grand ceremony at a packed Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai saw Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the Indian team honoured for for winning the inaugural ICC World Twenty20. While the players received cheques of Rs 80 lakh ($200,000) each, the coaches and support staff were given Rs 15 lakh ($38,000) each.
In the coming days, the U-19 stars will sign up for the various IPL teams. The board was considering stipulating a condition that each of the franchises in the Indian Premier League will get the first option for picking Under-19 players from their own catchment areas. But some of the franchises, who don't have too many U-19 players in their catchement areas, are not too comfortable with that and decision will be taken in a week's time.
As things stand, Virat Kohli, Tanmay Srivastava and Pradeep Sangwan are expected to join the Delhi franchise, Abhinav Mukund and Napoleon Einstien are tipped to play for Chennai, Ravindra Jadeja is likely to turn up for Jaipur, Manish Pandey and Sourabh Tiwary for Bangalore, Iqbal Abdulla for Mumbai, Taruwar Kohli and Siddarth Kaul are expected to join Mohali and Shreevats Goswami will most likely turn out for Kolkata.