A new crop of the world’s best young talent shall emerge, with the ICC Men’s Under 19 Cricket World Cup beginning in the West Indies next week.
16 teams from around the world will compete in 48 matches over 22 days, with a winner crowned on February 5.
Teams are gearing up for the tournament, completing their quarantine periods ahead of the tournament opener next Saturday.
Bangladesh are defending champions, defeating India by three wickets in a rain-affected final in Potchefstroom two years ago. Several members of Bangladesh’s team have gone on to make a name in the senior international game, with the likes of Mahmudul Hasan Joy and Shoriful Islam playing key roles in their nation’s historic Test victory over New Zealand at the Bay Oval.
A member of the winning 2020 squad as a 17-year-old, Rakibul Hasan returns to the tournament as captain of Bangladesh, who begin their campaign on January 16 against England in St. Kitts.
The teams are split into four groups of four teams, with Scotland the latest team to join the competition, replacing New Zealand who withdrew from the tournament in November.
Ten teams (Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe) were automatic qualifiers for the tournament, by virtue their finish at the 2020 edition of the tournament.
Ireland and Uganda were regional qualifiers from Europe and Africa qualifiers respectively, with Canada, PNG and UAE all progressing to the tournament from their regions after their qualifying tournaments were cancelled due to COVID-19. The three teams were selected on the basis of them securing the most wins in the last five U19 qualifying events in each respective region.
The tournament opens with two matches in Guyana, as hosts West Indies take on Australia at Providence Stadium, and Sri Lanka facing Scotland at Everest Cricket Club.
ICC Men's U19 World Cup Groups
Group A: Bangladesh, Canada, England, UAE
Group B: India, Ireland, South Africa, Uganda
Group C: Afghanistan, Pakistan, PNG, Zimbabwe
Group D: Australia, Scotland, Sri Lanka, West Indies
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