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    YouR De$i RaPPeR
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    Jun 2009
    Spain BCN (Barcelona)


    Default It's like a finishing school for next crop of top players: Lorgat

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    With players at the U19 Cricket World Cup (CWC) to be focussed in battling for the title, ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat believes that the event would help the participants prepare the way for the next generation of top players.

    Lorgat said the youngsters, representing their nations in the event which starts from January 15, would also be learning about the responsibilities and pressures of playing the game at the international level.

    ''It is always our intention to operate the tournament in much the same way as we run our major international events - like the Cricket World Cup or World Twenty20. It is like a finishing school for the next generation of top players,'' said Lorgat.

    ''History tells us that many of the players competing in New Zealand will soon be playing senior international cricket.

    Indeed, some have already done so. So introducing them to some of the wider responsibilities and challenges of the international professional game will be beneficial as they look to make their mark at the higher levels.

    ''As a sport, we take our responsibility to keep the game free of taints such as corruption and drugs very seriously so the earlier we can educate players on these issues the better,'' he added.

    The tournament is also seen as an important opportunity for up-and-coming young players to increase their awareness and understanding of the sport's codes, including anti-doping and anti-corruption laws.

    Lorgat further said while betting on youth cricket was not common, it was still necessary to maintain high levels of vigilance for tournaments such as the U19 CWC.

    ''We have noted a trend in recent years for those involved in illegal betting to 'groom' players from an early age,'' he said.

    ''So it is especially important for us to be vigilant around this event and to extend our education programme to young players.

    ''Prior to the tournament, players will be given information about the ways in which people may seek to influence them, and about the penalties that can be imposed on those who become involved in inappropriate activities,'' Lorgat added.

    Players will also be briefed on the ICC Anti-Doping Code which is the basis of international cricket's efforts to keep the sport free of banned substances. The code is designed to make sure cricket plays its part in the global fight against drugs in sport.

    Anti-doping education sessions will be held for all teams at the U19 CWC, reinforcing the ICC's zero-tolerance approach to doping in cricket.

    ''The ICC's major thrust in this area is to ensure fair competition for everyone,'' Lorgat said.

    ''We hope that these talented young cricketers come away from this event with an appreciation of how difficult it is for drug cheats to get away with doping practices.''


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