The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday released the schedule for the 2024 U19 Men’s World Cup on Monday with the five-time champions India starting their campaign against 2020 winners Bangladesh in Bloemfontein. “A revised schedule for the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 has today been revealed by the International Cricket Council (ICC), confirming five venues in South Africa that will host the 15th edition of the celebrated event between January 19 and February 11, following the decision taken by the ICC Board in November to relocate the event from Sri Lanka,” ICC said in an official statement.
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 the 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 January 30, where two groups of six teams will clash to determine the Semi-Finalists and the subsequent finalists.
In the group listings, holders India are joined by Bangladesh, Ireland and the 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.
“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,” ICC Head of Events, Chris Tetley was quoted as saying by ICC.
“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. 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,” he added.
Ahead of the event, each competing team will play two warm-up matches between 13 and 17 January 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.
Throughout 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.
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