Hosts South Africa will open their campaign against Afghanistan in next year’s ICC U19 Cricket World Cup, a tournament that showcases the world’s future cricket stars.
South Africa, hosts in 1998 and champions in 2014, play their opening match at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley on January 17. Benoni and Kimberley are the other host cities for the 13th edition of the tournament, being played as per the format used in previous editions, with the second phase dividing the teams into Super League and Plate tournaments.
The top two teams from each of the four groups advance to the Super League while the remaining teams feature in the Plate championship. The JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom will be a key venue as it hosts two Super League quarterfinals, both semi-finals and the final.
The top 11 full members in the last edition in New Zealand and the five regional champions, who have qualified for the event, will also play warm-up matches from January 12-15 in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Nigeria (Africa) also make an appearance for the first time along with Japan (East Asia Pacific). Nigeria (Africa) and Japan (East Asia Pacific) are joined by other regional qualifiers Canada (Americas), United Arab Emirates (Asia) and Scotland (Europe).
ICC Head of Events Chris Tetley: “The U19 Cricket World Cup is a very important event in our calendar as it brings together the world’s most promising young players in a major ICC tournament, giving them the experience of competing on the global stage.”
Some of the world’s best players have showcased their talent at previous editions of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup including top-ranked Test batsman Steve Smith, top-ranked ODI and T20I batsman Virat Kohli, England Test captain Joe Root andNew Zealand captain Kane Williamson.
India have won the title four times, Australia have won three times, Pakistan have won it twice while England, South Africa and the West Indies have won once each.
Group A: India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Japan. Group B: Australia, England, West Indies, Nigeria. Group C: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Scotland. Group D: Afghanistan, South Africa, UAE, Canada.