The 10th edition of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, which begins on February 14, 2014, at the United Arab Emirates, is all set to stage the future stars of world cricket, just like all its previous versions did, starting from 1988. The 48-match long tournament features 16 teams in four groups.
Players, teams, captain or the venue: let’s check out what’s new in this edition of U19 World Cup.
- Qualification criteria: The qualifications for the Affiliates and Associates countries took place through regional tournaments. Unlike the previous editions, the champion teams from the regional tournaments got direct entries to qualify for the World Cup. By the rule, Namibia, Scotland, Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea and Canada secured their place from Africa, Europe, Asia, East-Asia Pacific and Americas region, respectively.
- Players of unique numbers: UAE’s Mohammad Hamid, aged 20.307 years, becomes the senior-most player of this tournament, whereas Afghanistan’s Shahidullah becomes this edition’s youngest player at an age of 15.6 years.
- Captain of caliber: Among the 8 of the 16 captains playing in the tournament who have prior world cup experience, Canada’s Nitish Kumar stands ahead of all with the status of an ODI cricketer. Apart from him, Sami Aslam (Pakistan), Vijay Zol (India), Kusal Mendis (Sri Lanka), Will Rhodes (England) and Gerhard Erasmus (Namibia) have all made waves. Bangladesh’ Mehedy Hasan (16.110 years) and UAE’ Rohit Singh (20.113 years) are the youngest and oldest captains in the tournament respectively.
- Team that matters: Australia and India are the most successful teams in the history of the U-19 world cup with 3-titles each. The team with the lowest average age is Bangladesh(17.411 years). Playing their ninth World cup this year, the Tigers holds the repute of being the quarter-finalists in 2012. Canada, making its fourth world cup appearance, sits at the other end of the equation, with an average age of 19.237 to be the oldest team of this edition.
- The debutant: UAE got a direct entry in the 2014 U19 World Cup to complete the Group D which previously had New Zealand, England and Sri Lanka. It’s the first major ICC event for the United Arab Emirates as host. UAE happens to be the 7th different venue for an Under-19 world cup. Saying that, it would be interesting to see how the debutant UAE would utilize this one-of-a-kind opportunity both at the administrative and grass-root level.