Emerging South African left-arm seamer Kwena Maphaka was named the 2024 U19 World Cup Player of the Tournament following his exploits that saw him finish as the leading wicket-taker. The youngster bagged 21 wickets in six matches at an average of 9.71 and an economy rate of 3.81.
Maphaka narrowly missed out on breaching the record for the most wickets in a single edition, still held by Bangladesh’s Enamul Haque Jr in the 2014 edition with 22 scalps.
Maphaka played a key role in South Africa’s progress to the semi-final stage. He became the first bowler to record three five-wicket hauls in a single edition and was also the pick of the bowlers in the knockout encounter against India, taking three wickets for 32 runs off his 10 overs. However, South Africa went on to lose the game by two wickets.
The other nominees for the awards were Australian skipper Hugh Weibgen, Indian skipper Uday Saharan, Pakistani pacer Ubaid Shah as well as the likes of Saumy Pandey, Musheer Khan, Jewel Andrew, and Steve Stolk.
Another South African player – Dewald Brevis – was the reigning holder of the award following his exceptional campaign in the West Indies during the 2022 edition of the U19 Word Cup.
Kwena Maphaka was in attendance during the 2024 U19 World Cup final
The pacer graced his presence at Willowmoore Park in Benoni during the 2024 U19 World Cup final between India and Australia on Sunday, February 11. Maphaka was seen in the stands along with current South African senior team pacer Anrich Nortje.
Maphaka received the Player of the Tournament award from Nortje during the post-match presentation following Australia’s 79-run triumph in the title clash.
“Means a lot to me. I will remember about this for the rest of the tournament. I worked on my inswing a lot, that’s what helped me in this tournament. Super eager for the future, will be amazing if I can make it happen (play for South Africa). Lot of hard work to do,” Maphaka said after receiving the award.
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