Dubai, Sep 22 (IANS): India, the winners of the 2022 U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup in the West Indies, will commence the defence of their crown against 2020 winners Bangladesh in the 2024 edition of the tournament to be held from January 13 to February 4, said the International Cricket Council (ICC).
It further said the India-Bangladesh clash in 2024 U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup will be held on January 14 at the R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium in Colombo, a day after hosts Sri Lanka play Zimbabwe on January 13.
The opening day of the tournament will also see 2022 runners-up England play Scotland at Colombo Cricket Club and New Zealand face off against Nepal at the P. Sara Oval. 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.
India are the most successful team in the competition with five U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup titles. Australia have won the event three times, while Pakistan emerged triumphant twice. England, Bangladesh, South Africa and West Indies have each been crowned champions once.
ICC added that a new format will be in place for the tournament, with teams progressing from the group stages will enter a new Super Six stage, starting 24 January. As per the new format, two groups of six teams will clash to determine the semi-finalists and the subsequent finalists.
“The ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup has a long-standing history of introducing global audiences to future stars of the sport. Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and Angelo Mathews are some of the names that made their entrance onto the world stage at this event, and we are certain to see this tradition continue as the drama unfolds across the 41 tournament fixtures.”
“We are thrilled to see the competition return to Sri Lanka for the first time since 2006, in what promises to be a festival of cricket with no shortage of entertainment, and we are proud to offer fans the chance to witness the action for free once more,” said Chris Tetley, ICC Head of Events.
16 teams, including qualification pathways winning teams - Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Scotland, and USA - are set to compete for the silverware across 41 matches to be hosted across five venues in Colombo.
P. Sara Oval, Colombo Cricket Club, Nondescripts Cricket Club, Singhalese Sports Club and the R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, hosting both semi-finals on January 30 and February 1, followed by the final on February 4.
Ahead of the competition, each competing team will play two warm-up matches between 7 and 11 January, taking place across four of the five tournament venues. Sri Lanka will be hoping to go one better than their previous best finish, when they were runners-up to India at the final of the competition back in 2000.
“Sri Lanka Cricket is delighted to be welcoming this prestigious event back to Sri Lanka after 18 years. Sri Lanka is renowned for its passionate, cricket-loving fans, and we are looking forward to giving them the opportunity to watch some of the most promising young cricketers in the world over 23 days of competition.”
“The five venues selected to host the event in January and February next year have been graced by many exceptionally talented cricketers over the years, and it will be fitting for these historic grounds to host the future stars of the game. With so much to look forward to, we have no doubt that the event will help showcase Sri Lanka as an ideal destination for cricket,” said Samantha Dodanwela, Tournament Director.