South African captain Aiden Markram has been a revelation for South Africa Photo Courtesy—ICC’s official website


Dubai: Feb 28, 2014


Aiden Markram, the South African skipper has acknowledged the weight of history on his young side as they brace themselves for the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2014 final against Pakistan. The only ICC event South Africa have won was the first ICC knock-out, way back in 1998. However, Markram believes that they shouldn’t let that affect them and should concentrate on the task at hand at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.


“It is massive for us and we have acknowledged that. History hasn’t quite gone our way, but I think we can’t focus too much on winning, but more on the process and on getting there. Execution of our gameplans and skills would be vital tomorrow and then hopefully the result can take care of itself,” Markram said while addressing the press a day before the final.


South Africa made their way into the final even as people touted India as the favourites. However, they do face Pakistan, a side that was also picked as one of the leaders in the tournament.


On the general feeling of South Africa being the favourites going into the final, Markram said, “It is a big statement to make I think. The Pakistanis know these conditions well and I don’t believe there are firm favourites in this game and that the game is in the balance. We’ll look to see what the Pakistani’s can do. We are happy with how we have played and are glad how we have built momentum throughout the tournament. Hopefully, it can continue for us.”


While Pakistan are also a strong side and know the conditions well, Markram did say that they have to mainly focus on their own plans and play accordingly. “They will field a good side and know the conditions well. It is also important that we have our plans in place and just look to execute our plans. There’s only so much we can do in terms of looking at what Pakistan can do. We’ll take it into consideration, but a lot of the focus would be on ourselves and not too much on them,” said Markram.


South Africa have shown remarkable team work throughout the tournament. This is a group that hasn’t played too many games coming into the tournament, but have had the right mix to perform. Despite them not having any players with First-Class experience, Markram believes that it is because they have shared responsibilities that they have been so successful.


When asked about the secret to this team’s success, Markram said, “It’s a question that has been asked to me quite a bit actually. It is a nice one to answer because I think at the end of the day, we don’t have any superstars in our team.”


“We don’t have any first class players and I think that works to our favour because each day is a new chance for a another individual to take responsibility and win us games. It helps us a lot because we aren’t relying on one or two players. It is a team effort and each person has to play his part,” said Markram.


Markram also said that his team has learnt quite a lot from this experience and have grown as cricketers. There are a lot of positives to take for the South Africans from this tournament, but they would want to do the job at hand.