ICC announces U19 World Cup revised schedule as tournament heads to South Africa

Dubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday announced the revised schedule for the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 which is set to be held in South Africa

now from January 19 to February 11, following the decision taken by the ICC Board in November

to relocate the event from Sri Lanka.

The most exciting young talent in world cricket will compete for the silverware across 41 matches held at established international venues; Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein, Buffalo Park in East London, Kimberley Oval in Kimberley, JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom and finally Willowmoore Park in Benoni – the venue selected to host the Semi-Finals on February 6 and 8 and the Final on February 11.

The new schedule sees the hosts kick off their campaign against the West Indies in Potchefstroom on opening day, while defending champions India start the defence of their crown a day later against former champions Bangladesh, who claimed the silverware when the tournament was last hosted in South Africa back in 2020.

The event will welcome a new format for this edition, where teams progressing from the group stages will enter a new Super Six stage, starting 30 January, where two groups of six teams will clash to determine the Semi-Finalists and the subsequent Finalists, an ICC media release said.

In the group listings, holders India are joined by Bangladesh, Ireland and USA in Group A. Group B consists of England, South Africa, West Indies and Scotland. Group C features Australia, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Namibia while Group D is made up of Afghanistan, Pakistan, New Zealand and Nepal.

ICC Head of Events, Chris Tetley commented, “In the past 12 months we have seen South Africa successfully deliver two milestone events for the sport – the inaugural ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup last year, and the groundbreaking ICC Women’s T20 World Cup that immediately followed.

“The relocation of the U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 to South Africa allows us the opportunity

to build on this momentum and welcome the best young cricketers on the planet to five notable international venues,” he said.

“This event has a long-standing tradition of unveiling the newest stars onto the international stage, and with fans given the opportunity to witness these players in action for free, we firmly believe the stage is set for another thrilling edition,” Tetley added.

Tournament Director, Wanele Mngomezulu said, “As Cricket South Africa we are humbled by the ICCs show of confidence in our abilities to stage international cricket events. While the task of hosting the U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 has been conferred upon us with very tight timelines, we are happy to take on the challenge. Hosting this event allows us an opportunity to further sharpen our skills and capabilities in the run up to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2027 which will be held in South Africa.”

“Hosting the tournament on home soil is opportune for us to promote cricket to sport loving South Africans and attract new fans and young talent to the game, thereby driving our strategic pillars of excellence, access, and inclusion,” Mngomezulu added.

Ahead of the event, each competing team will play two warm-up matches between January 13 and 17 in venues in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

The U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup has long been the springboard for some of the most recognisable stars of the global game. South Africa will be hoping to claim their second U19 trophy, after previously winning the 2014 event from which future Proteas stars Aiden Markram and Kagiso Rabada made their introduction onto the world stage.

Through the history of the event, India are the most decorated with five U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup titles, Australia have won the event three times, Pakistan twice, while England, Bangladesh, West Indies and 2024 hosts South Africa have each been crowned once.

UNI

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