The International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced the full schedule for the U19 World Cup 2024. The tournament will take place in Sri Lanka from January 13 to February 4, featuring 16 teams, including 11 full members and 5 qualifiers, competing for the Silverware in 41 matches.
Teams that have earned their U19 World Cup spots through regional qualification pathways include Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Scotland, and the USA. These teams will join the 11 full members in the competition.
Five historic venues in Colombo will host the 15th edition of this prestigious event: P. Sara Oval, Colombo Cricket Club, Nondescripts Cricket Club, Singhalese Sports Club, and R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium. The semi-finals will be held on January 30 and 31 at both venues, while the final on February 4 will be hosted at the R. Premadasa Stadium.
The action will kick off on January 13 with three matches on the opening day. Hosts Sri Lanka will take on Zimbabwe at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, while England, the 2022 finalists, will play Scotland at the Colombo Cricket Club, and New Zealand will face Nepal at P. Sara Oval.
India, the winners of the 2022 edition held in the West Indies, will begin their title defense on January 14 against Bangladesh at the R. Premadasa International Cricket Stadium.
In a modified format introduced for the upcoming edition, teams advancing from the group stage will enter a new Super Six stage starting on January 24. In this stage, six teams will compete in two groups to determine the semi-finalists and ultimately the finalists.
The groups for the group stage are as follows:
Group A: India, Bangladesh, Ireland, USA Group B: England, South Africa, West Indies, Scotland Group C: Australia, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Namibia Group D: Afghanistan, Pakistan, New Zealand, Nepal
Chris Tetley, the Event Director at the ICC, expressed excitement about the tournament’s return to Sri Lanka, stating that the U19 World Cup has a rich history of introducing future cricket stars to the global stage. He cited players like Virat Kohli, Steve Smith, Kane Williamson, and Angelo Mathews who made their mark in this tournament.
Tetley also praised Sri Lanka’s cricket-loving fans, and he expects the tournament to be a celebration of cricket, showcasing some of the world’s most talented young players.
Before the tournament, each participating team will play two warm-up matches between January 7 and 11, with four of these practice games scheduled at the tournament venues.
The host team will be looking to build on their previous impressive performances, including being runners-up to India in the 2000 edition of the U19 World Cup. This historic event has been a launching pad for many of the most recognized stars in global cricket.