Previous editions

1988 - Australia
Teams: 8
Matches: 31
Winner: Australia
Runner-up: Pakistan

Known as the Youth World Cup, this first tournament was the brainchild of Australian Cricket Board General Manager Graham Halbish and featured the seven Test-playing sides of the time plus a side drawn from six ICC Associate Member countries (Bangladesh, Bermuda, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands and Zimbabwe with both Zimbabwe and Bangladesh still yet to get Test status).

A low-key event, it was staged in February and March and mainly in rural Australia except for the semi-finals and final, which were held at the Adelaide Oval.

Played on a round robin basis, the top four sides - Australia, the West Indies, Pakistan and England - qualified for the semi-finals. During the group stage there was no hotel luxury for the teams as players were paired off and lived with local families to help cut costs.

Australia won the event losing just one match throughout, to Pakistan (after they had already qualified for the semi-final) although they got its revenge in the final.

The tournament boasted a galaxy of future stars including future Test captains Brian Lara and Jimmy Adams (West Indies), Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain (England) and Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pakistan) as well as Mushtaq Ahmed (Pakistan) and Chris Cairns (New Zealand).

However, all those big names of the future stood behind the exploits of Australian opening batsman Brett Williams, who topped the tournament aggregates with 471 runs in nine matches. He went on to play just four first-class matches for South Australia.

But although it was hailed as a success - Wisden said: "...it would come as no surprise if the event were repeated in four years' time" - there was no repeat until ten years later.

 
1998 - South Africa
Teams: 16
Matches: 50
Winner: England
Runner-up:New Zealand
 
With India's Jagmohan Dalmiya as the ICC President, the U19 event was revived as part of a drive towards the game's "globalisation," an idea illustrated by the way the nine Test-playing sides were joined by Bangladesh, Denmark, Ireland, Kenya, Namibia, Papua New Guinea and Scotland.

The extra teams meant a new format with four groups and the top two sides from each going forward to two Super Leagues. The winners of each contested the final while the bottom two line-ups from the first group stages played against each other in two Plate Leagues with a final for that competition as well.

Led by Owais Shah, England won by hitting form at the right time. They only just qualified for the Super League on net run-rate after losing to Bangladesh and then edged out Australia for a place in the final by beating the side quickly enough to overhaul its net run-rate.

Stephen Peters was England's star with the bat. He thrashed a quickfire 51 against Australia and followed it with 107 in the final against New Zealand as England chased 242 for victory.

The tournament had its share of intrigue and touching stories. The West Indies misread the qualification regulations and turned up with seven players too old to take part and its opening game had to be delayed by two days while replacement players were flown out.

The Caribbean side did not reach the Super League stage and lost in the Plate final to Bangladesh but they did have the consolation of Chris Gayle's form. Not named in the original squad, he hammered an unbeaten 141 in that Plate final and was the tournament's top-scorer with 364 runs.

One of the leading bowlers was future West Indies vice-captain Ramnaresh Sarwan, who captured 16 wickets with his leg-spin, while Kenya's Thomas Odoyo hinted at his all-round potential with 293 runs and 15 wickets.

Papua New Guinea, turned up with just two bags of kit between the entire squad. When the first-class side Gauteng heard of its plight they donated another four bags. It did not stop PNG losing every match they played but it showed cricket's caring side.

 
2000 - Sri Lanka
Teams: 16
Matches: 54
Winner: India
Runner-up: Sri Lanka

India were worthy winners as the tournament expanded to include semi-finals after both the Super League and Plate group stages.

The Indians were the only unbeaten side and its dominance came from formidable batting. Captained by Mohammad Kaif, openers Ravneet Singh and Manish Sharma impressed with three century partnerships but it was the powerful and wristy left-hander Yuvraj Singh who really stole the headlines.

Yuvraj thrashed 203 runs in the tournament from just 196 balls faced including 58 from only 25 balls against Australia in the semi-final. It was the prelude to a stunning introduction to the senior India team later in the year when he hammered 84 from 80 balls against Australia in the ICC Knock-out in Kenya. As if his form with the bat was not enough, he also bowled some handy left-arm spin in Sri Lanka taking 4-36 against New Zealand and 4-15 against Nepal.

The prize for the most frustrated side of the tournament went to South Africa who failed to qualify for the Super League stage after rain prevented it from completing any of its group matches. They went on to win the Plate competition and Graeme Smith was the leading run-scorer with 348 runs.

The encouraging sign for the ICC was the appearance of three new sides in the tournament - Nepal, the Netherlands and an experimental side from the Americas, made up of players from the USA, Argentina, Bermuda and Canada.

 
2002 - New Zealand
Teams:16
Matches: 54
Winner: Australia
Runner-up: South Africa
 
Australia became the first side to hold the title for a second time thanks to awesome form which saw it repeat India's feat of 2000 in going unbeaten throughout the tournament.

Its brand of aggressive batting was too much for opposition attacks and they thrashed Kenya for 480 in 50 overs, with Craig Simmons scoring 155 from only 115 balls. That was part of a record 430-run win but captain Cameron White bettered Simmons' individual mark when he scored 156 against Scotland.

White was part of a four-pronged spin attack for Australia. He bowled his leg-breaks while slow-left armer Xavier Doherty was the tournament's leading wicket-taker with 16 victims. The quartet was completed by Beau Casson, equally at home bowling left-arm wrist and finger spin and left-armer Jarrad Burke, who also made an unbeaten 100 in the seven-wicket win over South Africa in the final.

Zimbabwe won the Plate competition led by its captain Tatenda Taibu, who was named player of the tournament. He scored 250 runs, effected eight dismissals behind the stumps and even took his pads off to bowl medium pace and claim 12 wickets.

Zimbabwe's final opponents in the Plate were Nepal who beat Pakistan and almost overcame England in the first group stage.

 
2004 - Bangladesh
Teams: 16
Matches: 54
Winner: Pakistan
Runner-up: West Indies

ICC President Ehsan Mani hailed this tournament "the most spectacular U19 World Cup the world has ever seen" and he was spot on.

30,000 fans turned up for the opening ceremony and the same number appeared for the final even though the host nation was not involved.

Bangladesh had its moment of glory by winning the Plate competition when they overcame Australia, who had already been humiliated by Zimbabwe in the group stages, bowled out for 73 by Tinashe Panyangara's superb 6-31. The home side could also boast the tournament's leading wicket-taker with left-arm spinner Enamul Haq Junior taking 22 wickets.

Pakistan won the thanks to some impressive bowling with the pace of Ali Imran and Riaz Afridi backed up by the off-spin of Tariq Mahmood.

India lost out to Pakistan in the semi-final when they were without its captain Ambati Rayudu, who was banned for presiding over his side's slow over-rate in the Super League match against Sri Lanka.

Nepal also hinted at continued improvement, only narrowly missing out on a place in the Super League stages when they beat South Africa and Uganda while for Sri Lanka Farveez Maharoof and Upul Tharanga both showed they were ready for promotion to senior level.
 
2006 - Sri Lanka
Teams: 16
Matches: 44
Winner: Pakistan
Runner-up: India

15 days of cricket with 16 teams from all over the world playing 44 matches climaxed in a thrilling Super League final in Colombo as defending champions Pakistan became the first side to retain the trophy when they beat India by 38 runs.

The tournament produced its fair share of great stories, with Bangladesh qualifying for the Super League for the first time in its history before going on to win the Super League play-offs to finish fifth.

ICC Associate Member Nepal beat South Africa and New Zealand to win the Plate Championship and the United States of America took part in the event for the first time, performed with credit and secured a victory against Namibia.

And on top of that, the Super League final saw Pakistan win from a seemingly hopeless position by bowling India out for 71 after they had earlier been dismissed for only 109.

2008 - Malaysia
Teams: 16
Matches: 44
Winner: India
Runner-up: South Africa

For the first time, the event was hosted by an Associate Member and Malaysian cricket fans had the opportunity to watch future cricket stars in action. Tournament favorites Pakistan, who were looking to take the Trophy home for the third time in a row after having won it consecutively in 2004 and 2006, were stopped in its tracks by an earnest South Africa in the semi-finals. They were met in the Super League finals by India who had been stretched to the limit by New Zealand in the other semi-final.

India remained unbeaten throughout the tournament and produced a remarkable performance in a rain-interrupted final to beat South Africa by 12 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method for its second ICC U19 Cricket World Cup triumph at the Kinrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur.

The leading run-scorer of the tournament with 262 runs, Tanmay Srivastava, scored 46 runs which proved to be a vital contribution to a disappointing 159 in 45 overs. In reply, a masterfully economical bowling effort from openers Pradeep Sangwan (0-14) and Ajitesh Argal (2-7) and strong support from spinners Ravindra Jadega (2-25), Siddharth Kaul (2-26) and Sayyed Abdullah Iqbal (1-26) enabled India to claim victory.

While the top eight sides battled for the ICC U19 CWC title, the bottom eight contested for the Plate Championship. West Indies overpowered Nepal to win its first-ever Plate Championship final by seven wickets. Nepal, who had previously won the Plate in 2006, was bowled out for a paltry 74. The West Indies bowlers came at Nepal with all guns blazing with both seam bowlers Jason Dawes (4-18) and Delorn Johnson (1-9) picking up crucial early wickets as Nepal struggled to cope with its pace.

2010 - New Zealand
Teams: 16
Matches: 44
Winner: Australia
Runner-up: Pakistan

Originally slated to be hosted in Kenya, the tournament was shifted to New Zealand nine months before the start of the event.

Defending champions India lost to rivals Pakistan in the quarter-finals. Also exiting the tournament at the quarter-final stage were England, South Africa and New Zealand.

Tournament favourites Pakistan again reached the final, beating West Indies in the semi-finals, while Australia made it to the final for the time since 2002 (also in New Zealand) after it beat Sri Lanka.

Australia won its third ICC U19 Cricket World Cup title with a 25-run win over Pakistan - after its bowling attack expertly neutralised Pakistan's batting threat at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Christchurch.

Defending a modest total of 207 runs, Australia fast bowler Josh Hazlewood (4-30) and left-arm spinner Luke Doran (3-32) ripped through the Pakistan line-up as Azeem Ghumman's side was bowled out for 182 runs in 46.4 overs.

West Indies finished third after it beat Sri Lanka in the play-off match at the Queen Elizabeth II Park, Christchurch. Bangladesh beat Ireland to claim its third Plate Championship title.

Dominic Hendricks of South Africa was named the Player of the Tournament after finishing as the tournament's highest run-scorer, amassing 391 runs in six innings at an outstanding average of 97.75.

Raymond Haoda of Papua New Guinea ended with most wickets, claiming 15 wickets in six matches at an average of 17.26.

2012 - Australia
Teams - 16
Matches - 48
Winner - India
Runner-up - Australia

After a 16-day tournament featuring 16 teams, India emerged triumphant in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2012 played in Australia. The tournament was played across three venues – Sunshine Coast, Townsville and Brisbane, with the ten full ICC members joined by six associate and affiliate members who earned its spots by finishing in the tops six of the ICC Under-19 World Cup Qualifier 2011.
 
The ninth edition of the ICC Under-19 World Cup was among the toughest ones, with every team being beaten at least once in the tournament. Like in the past, the 2012 edition also featured a number of players who would become international stars including Quinton de Kock from from South Africa, Kraigg Brathwaite from West Indies, George Dockrell and Graeme McCarter from Ireland, Ehsan Adil from Pakistan, Anamul Haque from Bangladesh and Ashton Agar from Australia.
 
Unmukt Chand, the Indian captain who hit a century in the final, and Baba Aparajith, the batting allrounder, were among India’s breakout stars, and though neither has earned international stripes yet, they have both had some notable domestic performances to its credit. Chand’s unbeaten 111 in the final was among the best innings of the tournament, giving India a six-wicket win over Australia, the defending champion.
 
India also tied with Australia for the most number of U-19 ICC World Cup wins, with three each.
 
The performance of William Bosisto, the Australia captain, was also one of the highlights of the tournament. Bosisto hit 276 runs in six innings, and bowlers found his defences almost impregnable. Bosisto was dismissed just once, ending with an incredible average of 276 in the tournament.

Previous winners

Super League

Year Host Country Winner Losing finalist
1988 Australia Australia Pakistan
1998 South Africa England New Zealand
2000 Sri Lanka India Sri Lanka
2002 New Zealand Australia South Africa
2004 Bangladesh Pakistan West Indies
2006 Sri Lanka Pakistan India
2008 Malaysia India South Africa
2010 New Zealand Australia Pakistan
2012 Australia India Australia
  
Plate Championship
Year Host Country Winner Losing finalist
1988 Australia Not held Not held
1998 South Africa Bangladesh West Indies
2000 Sri Lanka South Africa Bangladesh
2002 New Zealand Zimbabwe Nepal
2004 Bangladesh Bangladesh Australia
2006 Sri Lanka Nepal New Zealand
2008 Malaysia West Indies Nepal
2010 New Zealand Bangladesh Ireland
2012 Australia Sri Lanka Afghanistan