Under-19 Cricket World Cup: England's Class of '98 - what happened next?
By Sam Drury
Last Updated: 15/01/18 4:58pm
Forget Joe Root, Alastair Cook or James Anderson. As they prepare for their opening game at the Under-19 World Cup against Namibia on Sunday, it is Chris Schofield, Paul Franks and Stephen Peters that the England squad are hoping to emulate.
The latter trio may only have seven full international appearances between them, but they achieved something the more heralded triumvirate never could: winning the Under-19 World Cup.
Each of them played a part as Owais Shah led his side to an unlikely victory in 1998, beating a New Zealand side featuring Hamish Marshall, Lou Vincent and James Franklin in the final.
We look at what became of the 14 young men who helped England to World Cup glory in Johannesburg…
Owais Shah (c)
Shah captained the side in South Africa and, according to Rob Key, was "the one player tipped for greatness" among the squad, but struggled for his best form for much of the tournament. However, he showed his class with an unbeaten 54 to get England over the line in the final.
While greatness may have eluded the Pakistan-born batsman, Shah went on to play six Tests, scoring two fifties, and represented England 88 times in white-ball cricket (71 ODIs and 17 IT20s).
With an ODI century - on top of 12 ODI fifties - to his name, a first class average of 41.94 and 45 first class hundreds, Shah's stats over a 20-year career are not to be sniffed at.
Shah played for Middlesex until 2010 when he moved to Essex before retiring from first class and List A cricket in 2013. He played four seasons in the IPL and continued to play T20 for another three years before retiring and took on the role of UAE interim head coach between November 2016 and January 2017.
Flanagan made just two appearances during the tournament, against Namibia and Bangladesh, averaging just three with the bat and not bowling.
Despite a disappointing tournament, personally, Flanagan returned to Essex and made 18 first class appearances, the last of which came in 2000.
That was his last taste of top-level cricket but the left-handed batsman joined Cambridgeshire in 2002 and represented them for the next four years in minor counties cricket.
With over 200 runs, including a top-score of 65, and nine wickets at 24.33 across the tournament, vice-captain Franks played his part with bat and ball and having made his debut in 1996, returned to Nottinghamshire to resume a first-class career that would span 19 years.
He made his solitary full international appearance in an ODI against the Windies in 2000, on his home ground of Trent Bridge, but after a long-term injury his progress stalled somewhat.
That did not prevent the bowling all-rounder racking up 524 first class wickets with his medium-fast bowling and scoring over 7,000 first class runs as he helped Notts to two County Championship titles.
His last first-class appearance came in 2013 and after two years captaining the Notts second XI, he officially retired in 2015. Since then, Franks has gone into coaching and preceded Shah as the UAE's interim head coach.
Having scored 18 while opening the batting in first game of the tournament, Gough scored just two runs in his next two innings and despite taking four wickets at 15.50 in those matches, he played no further part.
He would go on to captain the U19s and looked set for a bright future in the game after averaging 50 for Durham in the 2002 season. However, he quit playing the following year, stating that he simply did not enjoy playing any more.
"Each year I kept thinking: 'I'll give myself another season and I might enjoy myself more'. But it didn't happen," he is quoted as saying on ESPN Cricinfo.
Gough has stayed in the game, though, and after passing his umpiring exams, he officiated his first second XI game in 2006 and in 2009 was appointed to the full list of first-class umpires. A first international match came in August 2013, an IT20 between England and Australia at Durham.
Since then, Gough has gone on to umpire 38 ODIs and 11 IT20s. He has also stood in five Test matches, the first of which came in July 2016 with the most recent being South Africa's win over India in Cape Town last week.
Grove was the third member of the squad to miss out on the final, playing in three games early in the tournament - wins over Namibia and Pakistan as well as the defeat to Bangladesh. The opening bowler took three wickets at 22.66 but was left out after bowling just two overs for 18 runs against Pakistan.
However, later that year he made his first-class debut for Essex against Surrey, taking three first-innings wickets. After making a handful more appearances, Grove moved to Somerset for the 2000 season, spending two years at Taunton before making the switch to Leicestershire.
While playing regularly in white-ball cricket, he made just three first-class appearances in two seasons and retired from the game in 2003.
Medium-pacer Haywood played in all but one of England's games in the tournament and was the star performer with the ball in the final, taking 3-18 from his 10 overs against New Zealand, including the wickets of Marshall and Vincent.
Just two years later he had played his last professional game. Having made his List A debut for Sussex in 1996, Haywood played a total of 14, as well as one first class match, before he was released in 1999.
He subsequently joined Nottinghamshire, spending just one season at Trent Bridge, playing five one-day games. His final professional appearance came in June 2000, three months shy of his 21st birthday.
Now a familiar face for Sky Sports viewers in his role as a commentator and pundit, Key played six of England's seven matches in South Africa and averaged 34.33 at the top of the order - a half-century against India his standout innings.
Key made his first class and List A debuts that summer for Kent, where he would ply his trade for the next 18 years, captaining the county between 2006 and 2012 and leading them to victory in the 2007 Twenty20 Cup.
A 1,000-run season in 2001 was followed by a Test call-up following year. Key made 15 Test appearances between 2002 and 2005, playing four Tests during the 2002/03 Ashes series and hitting a half-century at the MCG.
He turned his first Test century into a double against Windies at Lord's in 2004, adding an unbeaten 93 against the same opposition at Old Trafford later in the series with his last Test fifty coming in South Africa that winter.
Key retired at the end of the 2015 season with 19,419 first class runs and 54 first class centuries to his name, signing off with two hundreds and a 94 in his last three innings before moving into the Sky Sports commentary box
Logan played five games in England's winning campaign and shared the new ball in the final, four days after his 18th birthday.
The right-arm seamer made his first class and List A debuts for Northamptonshire in 1999 and moved to Notts in 2001, spending four years there before heading south to join Hampshire in time for the 2005 season.
Logan returned to Northants in 2007 and spent two years back at Wantage Road prior to making the final move of his career, to Surrey. After a year at The Oval, Logan left the professional game with 135 first class and 70 List A wickets to his name.
After ending the 1998 tournament as England's leading wicket-taker (10), Napier returned to county cricket and starred for Essex, playing at Chelmsford until his retirement in 2016.
In that time, the all-rounder established himself as a fans' favourite and played an important role for Essex in all three formats throughout his time at the club and brought down the curtain on his playing career by helping the side to promotion from County Championship Division Two.
Injuries at the most inopportune times denied him a shot at international cricket but Napier became known to a worldwide cricketing audience in 2008 as he blasted an incredible 152 not out from 58 balls in a T20 game, including a then world record 16 sixes in an innings.
Remarkably, Napier repeated the feat three years later against Surrey in the County Championship. He retired having amassed just shy of 10,000 runs across all three formats and claimed 953 wickets.
Man-of-the-match in the 1998 final following his knock of 107 in England's successful chase, Peters had already marked his professional debut with a hundred for Essex against Cambridge UCCE, becoming the county's youngest first-class centurion.
The opening batsman remained at Chelmsford until 2001 when he joined Worcestershire, where he spent four years. However, it was at Northants, whom he joined ahead of the 2006 season, that Peters enjoyed his most successful spell of his career.
Peters spent 10 years with Northants, captaining the side in first class cricket for two years before handing over the reins to Alex Wakely following relegation from Division One. After a further year at the club, Peters retired with stats of 31 centuries, 71 fifties and an average of 34.87 in first class cricket.
Powell played all but one of England's games in South Africa but the off-spinner found wickets hard to come by, taking just two across the tournament.
He was another to have debuted for his county before the U19 World Cup, playing both first class and List A cricket for Essex and in the weeks after England's triumph in South Africa, Powell was called up to play for England A, making just his second first class appearance in a game against Sri Lanka A.
Despite such a bright start to his career, Powell would play just one more first class game and, with all six of his List A appearances coming prior to the U19 World Cup, it proved to be his final professional match before he left Essex at the end of the 2000 season.
An ever-present for England during the 1998 World Cup, Schofield averaged a touch over 30 with the bat and took six wickets at 34.50 with the ball.
He returned to Lancashire and made his first-class debut in the summer of 1998 and after establishing himself in the first team the following season, he was awarded an ECB central contract and made his Test debut against Zimbabwe in May 2000.
Schofield did not get a bowl as the pace bowlers dominated proceedings but stayed in the side for the next Test at Trent Bridge. However, despite making a fifty with the bat, he struggled with the ball and it was seven years before he was next seen in an England shirt, when he played four matches during the 2007 World T20 in South Africa.
In between times, things had started to go wrong for Schofield at Lancashire and he was released in 2004 and it wasn't until midway through the 2006 season he returned to the professional game with Surrey where his performances in the T20 Cup earned him a call-up to the England squad for the World T20.
Schofield stayed with Surrey for the remainder of his career, retiring in 2011.
Swann ended his career as undoubtedly the most successful of the U19 World Cup winning squad but, after taking six wickets in five matches in South Africa, he had to wait for his career to really take off, certainly at international level.
The off-spinner made his international debut in an ODI against South Africa in 2000 but would have to wait another eight years for his next England appearance. He left his home county of Northants for Nottinghamshire in time for the 2005 season and earned an ODI recall after taking 45 wickets in the 2007 season.
A Test call-up followed in 2008 and Swann made an immediate impact on his debut, taking two wickets in his first over, becoming only the second player in Test history to do so. Swann went from strength to strength, helping England regain the Ashes in 2009 then retain the urn in Australia in 2010/11 and was an ever-present as England won the World T20 in 2010.
Swann retired midway through the 2013/14 Ashes series with England trailing 3-0, having taken 255 Test wickets, more than any other bowler in the time since his debut and a record for an English off-spinner, and has since embarked on a career in the media.
Nicholas Wilton (wk)
Wilton was the man behind the stumps for England's World Cup win, batting down the order and taking eight catches and one stumping during the tournament.
In the months that followed, Wilton made his first-class debut for Sussex but his professional cricket career was relatively short-lived.
The Kent-born 'keeper made 17 first-class appearance for Sussex before he was released at the end of the 2001 season. He turned out for Berkshire in the Minor Counties Championship in 2002 before bringing his cricket career to an end.
Watch England first game at the U19 World Cup, against Namibia, from 9.25pm, Sunday on Sky Sports Cricket.