Six players to watch in the forthcoming ICC Pepsi World Cricket League Division 4 tournament in Tanzania.
Afghanistan: Mohammed Nabi
An all-rounder, Mohammed Nabi is capable of turning a match with both bat and ball. He first came to prominence after hitting 116 against the MCC in India, following which he was offered a place on the MCC's Young Cricketers programme, which has previously included players such as Ian Botham, Phil Tufnell and Mark Waugh.
He became the first Afghanistan player to play first-class cricket when he turned out for the MCC against Sri Lanka A in 2007, top scoring in the MCC's first innings with 43. He was a key player for Afghanistan in the ACC Twenty20 Cup the same year, scoring a 24 ball 50 and taking 3/27 in the final against Oman.
He has recently gained experience playing first-class and List A cricket in Pakistan, where he played for Pakistan Customs. He scored an unbeaten 112 in a one-day match for the team, and currently has a List A batting average over 50. In Division Five earlier this year, he was one of only two Afghan players to score more than 100 runs, and he also took 10 wickets.
Fiji: Joesfa Rika
With star player Neil Maxwell out injured, Fiji will have to look to other players to fill the huge void his absence will leave. One player they will look to is batsman Josefa Rika, who last year played one of the most remarkable innings in the history of youth international cricket.
Rika first played for the Fiji Under-19s team in the EAP Under-19 Championship of 2001, aged just 13. He was without much success in that tournament, and in the 2003 EAP/Africa Under-19 tournament, but was Fiji's top run-scorer in 2005 as he begun to develop as a player. He made his debut for the senior side in 2006, still aged only 18, and was their top run-scorer in the EAP Trophy – a tournament at which Fiji included the aforementioned Neil Maxwell.
Like most of the Fiji team, he struggled in the ICC World Cricket League Division Three tournament in Darwin, but when he returned to the Fiji Under-19s team the following month, he was a star. He scored 291 runs at an average of 97 in the event, the undoubted highlight being a phenomenal innings of 257 from just 145 balls against Japan. He was back in the senior side for the South Pacific Games in August 2007, picking up a silver medal. He finally began to show the promise his youth career suggested at senior level in the series against Vanuatu in May this year, scoring 106 in the second match of the three match series.
Hong Kong: Nadeem Ahmed
The 21 year-old off-spinner Nadeem Ahmed has played for Hong Kong from Under-15 level upwards, and is the eighth youngest player to have played ODI cricket, making his ODI (and Hong Kong) debut 10 weeks prior to his 17th birthday. Of associate players, only the UAE's Ramveer Rai has played at a younger age.
He played throughout Hong Kong's ACC Fast Track Countries Tournament campaign in 2004/05, taking ten wickets at 27.60 and made his first-class debut in 2005, playing in Hong Kong's first and only ICC Intercontinental Cup campaign. He began to reach his potential in the ACC Trophy of 2006, when he took 11 wickets at 17.09, but he didn't emerge onto the world scene until the Asia Cup earlier this year.
Against Pakistan, he took four wickets inside 21 balls, including the dangerous Shahid Afridi for just four. He finished with 4/51 from his nine overs. He topped the Hong Kong bowling averages in the 2008 ACC Trophy Elite tournament, taking ten wickets at 13.70.
Italy: Joe Scuderi
The former Australian Under-19 player Joe Scuderi has been a long time servant for Italy, making his debut in the 1998 European Championships. He has previously played first-class cricket for South Australia and Lancashire, but these days spends his time as the professional with Ribblesdale Wanderers of Clitheroe in the Ribblesdale League.
He doesn't bowl much these days, but his batting is still as good as it always was, and he rolled back the years against the Netherlands in this year's European Championship when he scored an unbeaten 84 to lead the Italians to a surprise eight run win.
He could have come up against his old Australia Under-19s team mate Neil Maxwell in this tournament, but Maxwell's injury leaves Scuderi as the most experienced player in the tournament, and Italy will need him to play at his best if they are to go back up to Division Three.
Jersey: Ryan Driver
The former Lancashire and Worcestershire batsman made his official debut for Jersey when they hosted ICC World Cricket League Division Five earlier this year, after previously playing for them as a non-qualified player in the inter-insular match against Guernsey.
He is one of the players in the tournament with first-class experience, playing 25 matches between 1998 and 2002. He was a consistent performer at second XI level with Lancashire and Worcestershire, and at minor counties level with Cornwall, but he never quite made it at a higher level.
Nevertheless, his experience will count for a lot in the tournament, and he has begun to develop into something of an all-rounder. He bats in the upper order, and bowls right-arm medium pace. He was one of the leading all-rounders in the Division Five tournament, taking 12 wickets at 8.25 and scoring 149 runs at 74.5. He also had a good tournament in Division Two of the European Championship this year, finishing as Jersey's top run-scorer and leading wicket-taker. He scored the tournament's only century – an unbeaten 113 in the deciding match against Guernsey.
Tanzania: Athumani Kakonzi
The 18 year old leg spinning all-rounder Kakonzi has already proven himself to be one of Tanzania's best players. He made his debut for them aged just 14 when he played in the African Associates Championship in Zambia in 2004, topping the Tanzanian bowling averages.
He had a fantastic tournament at the ICC World Cricket League Africa Region Division Two tournament in Tanzania in 2006, finishing as the leading wicket-taker and topping the batting averages thanks to an unbeaten 108 against Mozambique, a match in which he also took three wickets.
He was one of the few Tanzanian players to shine in the Division Three tournament in Darwin last year, scoring 158 runs at 39.50 in the tournament, with a top score of 82 coming against the Cayman Islands. His most recent international action came against the MCC late last year, playing for both the senior and Under-19 Tanzanian teams against the tourists. For the Under-19s, he took 3/26 with his leg-spin.