Champions five times over India will launch their 2024 ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup campaign in Bloemfontein against 2020 winners Bangladesh, while hosts South Africa will face the West Indies in the tournament opener on January 19.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the calendar for the 16-team event on Monday, with five sites throughout South Africa hosting a total of 41 matches over the course of three weeks in January and February in the 15th edition of the Under 19 showcase.
India won the tournament in the West Indies in 2022 and are in Group A with Bangladesh, Ireland, and the United States as they seek a record sixth Under 19 title.
England, South Africa, the West Indies, and Scotland make up Group B. Australia, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and Namibia are in Group C, while Afghanistan, Pakistan, New Zealand, and Nepal are in Group D.
The top three teams from each group advance to the Super Six stage of the event, which precedes the semi-finals and final in Benoni.
South Africa will host the Under 19 World Cup for the third time, following previous editions in 1998 and 2020, and ICC Head of Events Chris Tetley believes the country is well poised to build on the success of hosting two recent events over the last year.
“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,” Tetley said in a statement.
“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.”
All teams will play two warm-up games in South Africa from January 13 to 17.
Groups for the ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup:
Group A consists of India, Bangladesh, Ireland, and the United States.
Group B consists of England, South Africa, the West Indies, and Scotland.
Group C consists of Australia, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, and Namibia.
Afghanistan, Pakistan, New Zealand, and Nepal are in Group D.