Tendulkar leads accolades for India U-19 team

Sachin Tendulkar (AFP)
Sachin Tendulkar (AFP)

New Delhi - Batting great Sachin Tendulkar led the accolades after India's Under-19 cricketers won a record fourth Cricket World Cup, sparking off celebrations in the cricket-crazy country. 

Fans danced in the streets and exchanged sweets just as Harvik Desai hit the winning boundary in the final to seal an eight-wicket win over Australia. 

With celebrated former captain Rahul Dravid as the coach, the Indians finished the 16-team competition in New Zealand unbeaten. 

The Prithvi Shaw-led side's winning streak included a crushing 203-run triumph over arch-rival Pakistan in the semi-final. 

Tendulkar, who was a part of India's senior side that won the World Cup in 2011, said the win should spur the players to bigger glory in the coming days. 

"With great team work, great dreams work. Congratulations to our world champions, you have made us proud," Tendulkar said in a recorded video on Twitter. 

"For our youngsters the beautiful journey has just begun ... continue to give your best and enjoy the game above all, good luck and have a wonderful career." 

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) promptly announced a cash bonanza for the team, with Dravid to receive five million rupees ($78 000) and $47 000 for each of the 16 players in the winning squad. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi too joined in the collective applause, saying the win made every Indian extremely proud.

"Absolutely thrilled by the stupendous achievement of our young cricketers," Modi tweeted from his official account. 

Mohammad Kaif (2000), current senior team captain Virat Kohli (2008) and Unmukt Chand (2012) had previously led the Indian Under-19 team to victory.

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