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U19 T20 World Cup can 'transform the landscape' of women's cricket: Sachin Tendulkar

Dubai: India legend Sachin Tendulkar believes the ICC U19 Women's T20 World Cup in South Africa will have a massive impact on the present and future of women's cricket.
The inaugural U19 Women's T20 World Cup is set to begin on January 14 with 16 teams vying to make history by becoming the first to get their hands on the coveted trophy. While winning a trophy is a huge incentive, the tournament also provides an opportunity for young players to play on the big stage and gain valuable international exposure.
Ahead of the tournament, Sachin Tendulkar, in his column for the ICC, wrote about how the U19 T20 World Cup could shape the future of women's cricket.
"This season is huge for women's cricket as fans around the world shift their gaze to South Africa for the ICC Under-19 Women's T20 World Cup and the ICC Women's T20 World Cup," wrote Tendulkar.

"While the Women's T20 World Cup has been played for several years now, the Under-19 event is a first-time event and one that holds a lot of promise. I think this can transform the landscape since a global platform will ensure great learning and experience to young women cricketers," he added.
Previous U19 Men's World Cups have helped to discover some of today's biggest stars, including Virat Kohli, Ben Stokes, Kane Williamson, Kagiso Rabada, and, more recently, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Shubman Gill.
Tendulkar hoped that the upcoming tournament and subsequent editions would have a similar impact on women's cricket.
"Though women's cricket has made huge strides, there are areas still to be tapped. What is required right now is a more robust grassroots system across the world. The larger we spread the base, the more talent we will unearth and that will have a direct bearing on the quality of the game," he said.
The U19 Women's T20 World Cup will be followed by the senior women's tournament, which will start in South Africa on February 9.
Picking his favourites for the tournament, Sachin predicted Australia to win again, but expressed hope that India would break their title jinx in South Africa this year.

"Two-time defending champions Australia obviously go in as the favourites for the senior event while Harmanpreet's side will be looking for their breakout moment after India missed out on World Cup titles in three previous finals - the 50-over World Cups of 2005 and 2017 and the 2020 T20 World Cup," said Tendulkar.
"I wish the Indian team as well as the players from the other teams all the very best for these two tournaments. Of course, players will aim for victories, but I would ask everyone to just go out and enjoy playing the game on the biggest stage," the former India batter added. (ANI)

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