U19 Cricket World Cup 2018 schedule announced
Defending champion West Indies will open its campaign against host New Zealand in next year’s ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup, the schedule for which was announced on Thursday.
The West Indies will play the inaugural Group A day-night fixture at Bay Oval in Tauranga on the opening day of the event which runs from 13 January – 3 February featuring 16 teams across seven venues in four cities – Christchurch, Queenstown, Tauranga and Whangarei.
The 10 Test playing nations (prior to Afghanistan and Ireland’s recent inclusion) gained automatic qualification to the event along with the best finishing associate from the last edition, Namibia. They are joined by five regional qualifiers in the biennial tournament that showcases future stars every two years. Past alumni of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup include current captains Steve Smith (Australia), Virat Kohli (India), Kane Williamson (New Zealand) and Sarfraz Ahmed (Pakistan).
The other teams in Group A are 2012 champion South Africa and Africa qualifier Kenya while three-time champions India and Australia are clubbed together in Group B along with Zimbabwe and East Asia Pacific qualifier Papua New Guinea.
Bangladesh, Canada, England and Namibia comprise Group C while two-time champion Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Asia qualifier Afghanistan and Europe qualifier Ireland form Group D in what is the 11th edition of the tournament and the third to be held in New Zealand.
The top two sides from each group will advance to the Super League while the remaining eight teams will figure in the plate championship. The quarterfinals, semifinals and final of the Super League will be among the 20 matches to be broadcast live. The final will be played at Bay Oval in Tauranga on 3 February while both semifinals will be played at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on 29 and 30 January.
The plate tournament will run simultaneously but end with the final at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Christchurch on 28 January.
Entry to the grounds will be free for the ICC U19 World Cup giving cricket fans in New Zealand a superb opportunity to see tomorrow’s stars today. The event will replicate a major ICC tournament in terms of organization and playing facilities giving players their first taste of competing on the global stage.
ICC Head of Events Chris Tetley: “The ICC U19 World Cup plays an important role in the progression of young talent onto the global stage. The list of past and current players who had their first taste of a major event at this tournament is a long one and I have no doubt we’ll be witnessing some of tomorrow’s stars in New Zealand next year.”
Tournament Director Brendan Bourke: “This will be the most accessible international event ever staged throughout New Zealand, with free entry to all games, so we look forward to opening the gates to our match venues in a little under five months’ time.
The captains of the teams coming through the Qualifiers are looking forward to the tournament, which is a stepping stone in the development of all participants – players and match officials.
Afghanistan captain Naveen-ul-Haq: “The aim is the same as that of any cricketing nation – this dream of winning the World Cup. For us it is also the same, to go out there and play some positive cricket and lift the trophy for the country.
Canada captain Bhavindu Adhihetty: “We have the skill and the strong mental belief that we can upset any full-member nation on a given day. As any other team, we set ourselves on the goal of hopefully winning the World Cup and proving that Canada is another up and coming massive cricketing nation.”
Ireland captain Harry Tector: “The guys are obviously delighted to be going to the U19 World Cup. It is a great stage to showcase their talents and we hope we can go to New Zealand and show how good a team we are.”
Kenya captain Sachin Budhia: “It’s definitely a great opportunity for us to participate in the ICC U19 World Cup. We would like first to finish as the top associate team in the 2018 ICC U19 World Cup, but more importantly, not look too far ahead but take each game, one at a time.”
Papua New Guinea captain Vagi Karaho: “It is a really big opportunity for us to play in the World Cup.
“The qualifying tournament has been a learning curve for us, our pathway to the World Cup. We have achieved that and are proud of it.”
Teams will get to tune up for the main event with practice matches from 8-11 January.
Matthew Waite inspires Yorkshire to victory over Warwickshire
The White Rose recovered from two first-over wickets to post 320.
Virat Kohli aware England’s batsmen might have ‘scarring’ ahead of India Test
Kohli celebrated a 3-1 series win on home turf as Joe Root’s tourists failed to get to grips with turning surfaces.
England’s James Anderson ready for India Tests despite ‘not ideal’ preparation
Anderson and new-ball partner Stuart Broad have been short of meaningful competition in recent weeks.
Home comforts but an uncertain batting order – England v India talking points
England met their opponents recently at the start of the year in a Test series.
England paceman Jofra Archer to meet with specialists over ongoing elbow issue
The 26-year-old underwent surgery in May but his initial return to action with Sussex raised further questions.
England’s white-ball tour of Bangladesh rearranged for March 2023
That trip has now been moved back to the first two weeks of March 2023, with matches due to be held in Dhaka and Chattogram.
India batsman Mayank Agarwal out of England opener due to suspected concussion
The 30-year-old opener was struck on the helmet during training.
Joe Root more interested in Ben Stokes’ welfare than him as England matchwinner
Stokes has taken an indefinite break from the game to prioritise his mental health and fully recover from a finger injury.
Chris Jordan holds his nerve to secure tight victory for Southern Brave
Rockets grounded as Phoenix rise for handsome win.
James Hildreth helps Somerset to five-wicket victory over Yorkshire
The game was reduced to 20 overs per side by rain.