ICC launches U-19 World Cup

Hosts face SA in opening match

Staff Correspondent

Hosts Bangladesh will take on reigning champions South Africa in one of the opening games of the ICC Under-19 World Cup as International Cricket Council announced the schedule of the event on Monday.
The 19-day event, compromising 48 matches, will be played across eight venues from January 27 to February 14 with live broadcast coverage of 20 matches.
The 16-team tournament, known to be the biggest platform for the rising stars, will be staged in Sylhet, Dhaka, Chittagong and Cox’s Bazar.
Bangladesh are placed in Group A along with South Africa, Scotland and Namibia while Group B is consisted of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and Canada.
Group C is comprised with England, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Fiji and Group D is decorated with Australia, India, New Zealand and Nepal.
A total of 10 teams qualified automatically for the tournament through their status as ICC full members.
Five others qualified by winning regional qualifying events while the final place was won by Nepal, the winner of 2015 Under-19 World Cup Qualifiers contested by the runners-up of the five regional qualifiers.
All matches will be day fixtures and start at 09:30 local time with the final at Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. Among the matches, the Super League semi-finals and final will have reserve days.
Kumar Sangakkara, the former Sri Lanka skipper, who failed to feature in the ICC Under-19 World Cup, recognised the tournament as the breeding ground for budding cricketers.
‘I watched a lot of players around the world who played in the U-19 World Cup,’ Sangakkara said during the lunching ceremony at a city hotel.
‘It is great to see talent being recognised at a very young age and then get the exposure at an international stage to showcase their skills.
‘It introduces them to professionalism, structure and the expectations of what they should be doing to step up to the international level.’
Geoff Allardice, the ICC general manager for cricket, said that they are looking forward to the tournament where players get education on different topics.
‘It is at this tournament that the players also receive important education on topics such as anti-doping and anti-corruption, which provides them a head start on the challenges that lie ahead for professional sportsmen,’ said Allardice.
‘Bangladesh has staged a number of ICC events in the past and all these have been hugely successful because of the passionate and enthusiastic crowds as well as high quality playing facilities,’ he added.

 BANGLADESH FIXTURES
Jan 27    South Africa v Bangladesh, Chittagong
Jan 31    Bangladesh v Scotland, Cox’s Bazar
Feb 2    Bangladesh v Namibia, Cox’s Bazar

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