The much-anticipated ICC U-19 World Cup starts finally on Saturday January 13. Pakistan, Afghanistan, Namibia, West Indies, Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea, Zimbabwe and hosts New Zealand fight it out in their respective matches on the opening day.
India will have to wait until the second day, i.e, Sunday to open their campaign in the 2018 tournament.
The 16 teams are divided into groups of four and each team has an equal chance of reaching the final, even if they come bottom in the group. The presence of Plate quarter-finals/semi-finals as well as Super League quarter-finals/semi-finals makes the format a bit complicated to the general eye, but it comes across as a big boost to even the bottom-ranked teams.
Here are the groupings
Group A: Kenya, New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies
Group B: Australia, India, Papua New Guinea, Zimbabwe
Group C: Bangladesh, Canada, England, Namibia
Group D: Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Ireland, Afghanistan
Following the group stages, the bottom eight teams across the four pools get another lifeline in the form of a Plate quarter-final, while the top eight teams battle it out in the Super League knockout stages.
The tournament also features a match up for the 15th place-playoff.
Full schedule: ICC U-19 World Cup 2018 group stages
|Jan 13||Pakistan vs Afghanistan||3 am||Whangarei|
|Zimbabwe vs Papua New Guinea||3 am||Lincoln|
|Bangladesh vs Namibia||3 am||Lincoln|
|New Zealand vs West Indies||6:30 am||Mount Maunganui|
|Jan 14||Sri Lanka vs Ireland||3 am||Whangarei|
|South Africa vs Kenya||3 am||Lincoln|
|India vs Australia||6:30 am||Mount Maunganui|
|Jan 15||Bangladesh vs Canada||3 am||Lincoln|
|England vs Namibia||3 am||Queenstown|
|Jan 16||Pakistan vs Ireland||3 am||Whangarei|
|India vs Papua New Guinea||6:30 am||Mount Maunganui|
|Jan 17||Sri Lanka vs Afghanistan||3 am||Whangarei|
|Zimbabwe vs Australia||3 am||Lincoln|
|New Zealand vs Kenya||3 am||Chirstchurch|
|West Indies vs South Africa||6:30 am||Mount Maunganui|
|Jan 18||Namibia vs Canada||3 am||Lincoln|
|Bangladesh vs England||3 am||Queenstown|
|Jan 19||Sri Lanka vs Pakistan||3 am||Whangarei|
|Australia vs Papua New Guinea||3 am||Lincoln|
|India vs Zimbabwe||6:30 am||Mount Maunganui|
|Jan 20||Afghanistan vs Ireland||3 am||Whangarei|
|West Indies vs Kenya||3 am||Lincoln|
|England vs Canada||3 am||Queenstown|
|New Zealand vs South Africa||6:30 am||Mount Maunganui|
After the group stage, this remains the progression of matches:
- 4 Plate (bottom two teams) quarter final matches
- 4 Super League (top two teams) quarter final matches
- 2 Plate playoff semi final matches
- 2 plate semi final matches
- 2 Super League playoff semi final matches
- 2 Super League semi final matches
Conclusion: The knockout phase of the tournament can throw up any possible match-up and therefore, as mentioned, an India-Pakistan match may not be very difficult to witness in the U-19 Cricket World Cup 2018.
Broadcast and live streaming details
TV: Star Sports 1/HD (India and rest of Indian sub-continent), Sky Sports (United Kingdom & Republic of Ireland), SuperSport (South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa), OSN (Middle East & North Africa). Fox Sports (Australia), Willow TV (USA), Sky TV (New Zealand), Ten Sports (Pakistan), ESPN (Caribbean), Gazi TV (Bangladesh), SLRC (Sri Lanka) Fox Networks Group (South East Asia), ATN (Canada).
Live streaming: Hotstar (India, Indian sub-continent, Canada, USA, Central Asia, Pacific Islands).
Live scores: Twitter.