ICC U19 World Cup 2020: India to open campaign against Sri Lanka

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India will open their Under-19 ICC World Cup 2020 campaign against Sri Lanka. The defending champions have been pooled in Group A with Sri Lanka, New Zealand and qualifiers Japan.

India’s first game at the Under-19 ICC World Cup 2020 is scheduled for January 19, Sunday, at the Mangaung Oval, Bloemfontein.

Hosts South Africa are pitted against Afghanistan in the first game of the tournament that showcases the world’s future cricket stars.

The 16-team tournament will be played through 24 days, across four cities and eight venues

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South Africa, hosts in 1998 and champions in 2014, play their opening match at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley on 17 January. The United Arab Emirates and Canada are the other teams they will have to contend with in Group D.

The final of which is scheduled for 9 February.

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Groupings:

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

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 12-15 January in Johannesburg and Pretoria. Nigeria (Africa) also make an appearance for the first time along with Japan (East Asia Pacific). Canada (Americas), United Arab Emirates (Asia) and Scotland (Europe) are the other qualifiers.

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“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,” said ICC Head of Events Chris Tetley.

“We have some excellent venues for this tournament, and we are offering free entry to all matches giving cricket fans in South Africa the opportunity to watch the next generation of superstars. I wish all the teams the very best in their preparations for the tournament and to Cricket South Africa in organising the event.”

Tournament Director Sivuyile Mqingwana added: “CSA is delighted to be hosting this prestigious event that further nurtures the stars of tomorrow. We look forward to hosting fans and visitors from all over the world and hope our cricketing guests and other sports tourists will enjoy both world-class cricket action, as well as the great treasures that ‘Mzansi’ has to offer.

“This ICC U19 cricket showpiece affords our country’s cricket community the opportunity to watch the world’s best young players up close and personal.”

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 and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.

South Africa have seen several top players like Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, Dean Elgar, Wayne Parnell, Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada make it big in international cricket after first catching the eye during U19 World Cups.

Other players to have featured in past editions include Brian Lara (West Indies), Michael Atherton (England), Michael Clarke (Australia), Virender Sehwag (India) Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pakistan) and Rashid Khan (Afghanistan).

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.

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