DUBAI: Three-time champions India and Australia are set to clash in their tournament-opener of the ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup scheduled to be held from January 13 to February 3 next year. India and Australia are clubbed together in Group B along with Zimbabwe and East Asia Pacific qualifier Papua New Guinea, according to the schedule of the tournament announced by ICC on Thursday.
Defending champion West Indies will play host New Zealand on opening day of 16-team tournament which will be played across seven venues.
The West Indies will play host New Zealand in the inaugural Group A day-night fixture at Bay Oval on the opening day of the event, featuring 16 teams across seven venues in four cities: Christchurch, Queenstown, Tauranga and Whangarei. The other teams in Group A are 2012 champion South Africa and Africa qualifier Kenya. The 10 Test playing nations (prior to Afghanistan and Ireland’s recent inclusion) gained automatic qualification to the event along with the best finishing associate from the last edition, Namibia.
Bangladesh, Canada, England and Namibia comprise Group C while two-time champion Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Asia qualifier Afghanistan and Europe qualifier Ireland form Group D in what is the 11th edition of the tournament and the third to be held in New Zealand.
The top two sides from each group will advance to the Super League while the remaining eight teams will figure in the plate championship.
The quarterfinals, semifinals and final of the Super League will be among the 20 matches to be broadcast live. The final will be played at Bay Oval on February 3 while both semifinals will be played at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on January 29 and 30.
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