ICC releases Under-19 World Cup 2020 schedule and groups; India placed alongside New Zealand and Sri Lanka
The ICC have released the schedule of the 13th edition of the Under-19 Cricket World Cup, to be staged in South Africa in the year 2020. Defending champions and four-time winners India will play their first match against Sri Lanka at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on January 19.
The 2020 event opener will see 2014 champions and hosts South Africa take on Japan on 18 January.
The tournament will be contested between 16 teams starting 17 January, while the final will be played on 9 February. Japan will be making their much-awaited debut at an ICC event, along with Nigeria.
The tournament will be played across eight venues in Kimberley, Bloemfontein, Benoni and Potchefstroom. All 16 teams are scheduled to play warm-up matches between January 12 and 15.
India are placed in group A alongside New Zealand, Sri Lanka and debutants Japan. Here is a look at all the groups:
India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Japan
Australia, England, West Indies and Nigeria
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Scotland
Afghanistan, South Africa, UAE and Canada
Some of the biggest names in the cricketing world currently - including Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Kane Williamson, Yuvraj Singh and Joe Root - started their journey and came into the limelight at the U19 World Cup. Other notable stars who featured in past tournaments are Brian Lara, Michael Clarke, Virender Sehwag, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Rashid Khan.
Looking at the way the South African senior team is performing, the hosts will keep a close eye on this event in order to identify the young game-changers. Several of their top players like Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, Wayne Parnell, Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada came through the ranks after good performances at the Under-19.
In a statement, the ICC head of events Chris Tetley talked about the importance of the Under-19 Cricket World Cup and how it helps promising young individuals showcase their talent to the world and gain global experience.
“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,” Tetley said.