West Indies, Australia to open Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2020
West Indies Under-19s celebrate after winning the 2016 staging.
West Indies will open the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2020 South Africa against Australia on Saturday, January 18 at Diamond Oval in Kimberley.
This follows the announcement on Thursday of the schedule of matches for the tournament which showcases the world’s future cricket stars.
West Indies Under-19s, the 2016 champions, are drawn in Group B, which also comprises England and Nigeria, who are making their first appearance ever at an ICC global event.
The Caribbean side’s schedule in the group stage is completed, when it faces England two days later at the same venue and Nigeria on January 23 at the nearby Country Club B Field.
Hosts South Africa, who also staged the tournament in 1998 and were champions in 2014, will also open their campaign against Afghanistan on January 17 at Diamond Oval.
The United Arab Emirates and Canada are the other teams with whom they will have to contend in Group D of the 16-team tournament, the final of which is scheduled for February 9.
In other matches slated over the first few days, defending champions India make their bow into the tournament against Sri Lanka on January 19 at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein, a day after New Zealand take on Japan, who will be making their debut in an ICC global event, at the North West University Oval in Potchefstroom.
Benoni and Kimberley are the other host cities for the 13th edition of the tournament, being played as per the format used in previous editions, with the second phase dividing the teams into Super League and Plate tournaments.
The top two teams from each of the four groups advance to the Super League while the remaining teams feature in the Plate championship.
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 January 12-15 in Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Nigeria (Africa) also make an appearance for the first time along with Japan (East Asia Pacific). Nigeria (Africa) and Japan (East Asia Pacific) are joined by other regional qualifiers Canada (Americas), United Arab Emirates (Asia) and Scotland (Europe).