The 2010 Under-19 World Cup has been officially opened in Christchurch, New Zealand ahead of the opening matches, which take place on Friday, 15th January.
Representatives of the 16 competing countries took part in a 'vibrant' welcome ceremony held at the Christchurch Art Gallery where they were greeted by traditional Maori songs and a haka.
“During these next few weeks on cricket fields throughout this country, we will witness the success and outstanding abilities of the superstars of world cricket tomorrow,” New Zealand Cricket President Dave Currie said.
“New Zealand Cricket is privileged to host this wonderful event. The popularity and interest in cricket on the world scene has never been at such a high level and for all the players taking part in this tournament there are tremendous opportunities for personal success in the years ahead.”
Reigning champions India begin their title defence when they take on Afghanistan on the opening day of the tournament.
© Cricket World 2010