Men’s Under 19 World Cup schedule – Sri Lanka start January 13, India and Bangladesh in Group A

The 2024 Men’s U-19 World Cup will kick off with hosts Sri Lanka taking on Zimbabwe on January 13. Defending champions India will take on Bangladesh, to begin their campaign the following day.

The 41-match tournament will be played across 23 days in five venues, all in Colombo. The R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium will host the tournament opener, the semi-finals on January 30 and February 1, along with the final on February 4. The P Sara Oval, Colombo Cricket Club, Nondescripts Cricket Club, and the Sinhalese Sports Club are the other venues.

The top 11 Full Member sides from the 2022 edition have qualified directly, and five teams – Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Scotland, and USA – have earned their spots through regional qualification events.

“We are thrilled to see the competition return to Sri Lanka for the first time since 2006,” Chris Tetley, ICC Head of Events, said in a release. “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.”
“Sri Lanka is renowned for its passionate, cricket-loving fans,” Samantha Dodanwela, Tournament Director, said, “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.”

New ‘Super Six’ format for 2024

The ICC has also announced a fresh format. While the 16 teams will initially be grouped into four groups of four, there will be 12 teams qualifying into the second round, instead of the eight previously. The Super Six stage will feature two groups of six teams each, with the top four progressing to the semi-finals.

Earlier, the second round consisted of the top eight teams moving into the Super League – a knock-out format for the World Cup title – while the bottom eight went into knockouts for the Plate trophy.

Each team will play two warm-up matches between January 7 and 11 across four venues. India, with five titles, are the most successful team in the competition’s history, followed by Australia with three. Pakistan have won twice and each of England, Bangladesh, South Africa, and West Indies have lifted the crown once.

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