The ICC has announced the schedule and format of the Under-19 World Cup which will be held from the 11th to 26th August in Queensland, Australia.
The event, the ninth time the tournament has been held since its inception in 1988, will return to the country of its birth – Australia won the inaugural competition at home 24 years ago – and will be played across several different grounds on Queensland’s east coast.
The tournament will encompass 16 teams – the ten full member countries plus Scotland, Nepal, Ireland, Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea and Namibia from the qualifying tournament – which will be split into four equal groups: the top two from each group qualifying for the Super League quarter-finals and the bottom two qualifying for the Plate Championship quarter-finals. The losing quarter-finalists will then play in various play-offs to ensure that the young cricketers taking part play as many matches as possible during the two-week biennial event.
ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said, “We now value the significance of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup more than before and it is fitting that it returns to the origin of its birth nearly 25 years later as a much bigger tournament. In 1988 the event was staged as part of the Australian Bicentenary celebrations and it is now one of our focal tournaments providing the best young cricketers in the world with an opportunity to test their skills.”
Ten of the matches held in Townsville will be shown live on ESPN Star Sports, the ICC’s global broadcast partners, with Lorgat commenting of the arrangement, “I am pleased with our broadcast partner who also recognises the value of this tournament and will televise live no less than 10 matches. In addition to the live coverage, the players will also receive anti-doping, anti-corruption and media education during the event which will allow the young cricketers to prepare themselves for the future.”
Hosts Australia are the reigning champions, and are the tournament’s most successful side – having won it three times – while other previous winners are Pakistan, England and India.
The full tournament schedule can be found on the ICC’s website.
© Cricket World 2012