Bangalore, Jul 29: South Africa's Test captain Graeme Smith has said the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2012 is an important event on the ICC calendar and has hoped players appearing in the ninth edition in Queensland, Australia, from August 11 to 26, will learn a few things which will make them better cricketers.
Smith, who played at the U19 WC 2000 in Sri Lanka where India won the title, further said that this event helps the teenagers to understand what will be expected of them after they have established themselves at the highest level.
"This event has become a regular fixture on the ICC calendar that many young cricketers look forward to and aspire to take part in. The ICC U19 CWC helps teenagers understand what will be expected from them after their careers take flight," said Smith in a media release issued by the ICC on Saturday.
Smith was the leading run-getter in Sri Lanka in 2000 with 348 runs at an average of 87.
"The ICC U19 CWC teaches you a lot of discipline that goes a long way in helping youngsters. This event teaches you how to handle stress when you are away from home and your close support group, educates you how to adjust to different countries with different cultures and customs. And more importantly, it teaches you that you have to be responsible for the way you behave, both on and off the field during the tournament.
"This event is a great way of learning about anti-corruption, anti-doping etc and what will be expected of you on the bigger stage. It gives you a taste of how it is like on the bigger stage.
"Apart from cricket, it is a great opportunity to build your character as nothing can replace what you learn on a tour," said Smith, who scored a half-century in the Plate Championship final against Bangladesh.
Reflecting on the 2000 tournament, the left-handed opener said: "I was a young and eager cricketer in 2000 in Sri Lanka. I remember the excitement and honour I felt for having the opportunity to represent my country.
"It was a very enjoyable tournament as I made new friends, some of whom I am currently playing with or against on the international circuit," Smith concluded.