Dubai: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday announced the schedule of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2016, which will be held across eight venues in four Bangladesh cities from January 27 to February 14 2016.
Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Dhaka and Sylhet will share 48 matches between them during the 19-day tournament, which will open with the match between defending champion South Africa and host Bangladesh at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium (ZACS) in Chittagong.
The tournament will culminate with the final at the iconic Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. All matches will be day fixtures and. The Super League semi-finals and final will have reserve days.
For the first time in the history of this competition, ICC will produce live broadcast coverage of an unprecedented 20 matches. The matches which will be shown around the world by ICC broadcast partner, Star Sports and its licensees include four from Chittagong, nine from Mirpur and seven from Fatullah.
In the 2014 event in the UAE, Star Sports and its licensees had broadcast 11 matches, while 10 matches each were televised from the 2008, 2010 and 2012 events in Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia respectively.
This increased broadcast coverage is a clear reflection in the enhanced profile of the event, which is billed as the platform for future stars. This claim can be substantiated by the fact that nine of the 10 current Test captains have previously played in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cups, while Pakistan’s One-Day International captain Azhar Ali participated in the 2002 tournament in New Zealand.
According to the event format, the 16 sides have been equally divided into four groups of four each, with the top two from each group progressing to the Super League stage and the bottom two to feature in the Plate Championship.
Apart from the 10 Test playing countries, six Associate and Affiliate Member sides – Afghanistan, Canada, Fiji, Namibia, Nepal and Scotland – will also participate after winning the various regional qualifying events.