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Pakistan?s future stars prepare for three in a row as details of 2008 ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup in

Wed, Nov 21, 2007 12:37 PM


Defending champion Pakistan will get its ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup campaign underway by playing the host Malaysia on 17 February in Kuala Lumpur, the ICC confirmed today.

Pakistan is the only team to have won back-to-back titles at this level, having triumphed in 2004 and 2006 in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka respectively, and will now aim to make it a hat-trick as it goes into the event as top seed.

The winner from 2000 and beaten finalist last year, India, is seeded second, with Australia (winners in 1988 and 2002) seeded third and England (winners in 1998) fourth as those two sides were losing semi-finalists in 2006.

All four will be in action on the opening day on February 17 when Pakistan meets Malaysia at Johor Cricket Academy in Johor, India faces Papua New Guinea (PNG) at Kinrara Cricket Academy in Kuala Lumpur, Australia takes on Namibia at Penang Sports Club in Penang, and England faces Ireland at Selangor Turf Club in Kuala Lumpur.


All 16 teams will be battling for a place in the final on 2 March in Kuala Lumpur.

Besides the ICC?s 10 Full members and hosts Malaysia, five qualifiers - Namibia (from the Africa Region), Nepal (from the Asia Region), Papua New Guinea (from the East Asia-Pacific Region), Ireland (from the Europe Region) and Bermuda (from the Americas Region) - will take part in the two-week long tournament.

"I am looking forward to what should be a great tournament," said ICC President Elect David Morgan.

"Over the years, the ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup has proven to be a great breeding ground for some of the best players in the world. Many have progressed from this level into their respective senior teams and I?ve no doubt the experience of playing at this event helped them no end when they got their chance at the top level," he said

"For the first time, the event is being hosted by one of our Associate Members - and it is great to see Malaysia staging another ICC tournament. The ICC Trophy was held in Kuala Lumpur in 1997 and I?m confident that this year?s tournament will be every bit as successful as that was.

"Another first is the fact that apart from hosting the tournament, Malaysia will be participating in its first ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup. It will also be the debut performance of Bermuda, which qualified for this event through the Americas Region earlier this year. Good luck to those teams and I hope they, along with all teams taking part next year, gain a lot from this opportunity," he added.

YAM Tunku Imran, President of the Malaysian Cricket Association said: "We thank the International Cricket Council for recognizing the development programmes that we have implemented and seeing the potential that Malaysia has as a cricketing nation.

"Through the years we have been able to host many international events and we believe that we will be able to host an event of this magnitude and prestige successfully.

"Furthermore, we have impressive cricket grounds of international standards complete with necessary facilities to accommodate an event of this nature."

The 16 teams have been divided into four groups with the top two teams progressing to the Super League quarter-finals while the two bottom teams from each group qualifying for the Plate Championship quarter-finals. The winners of the Super League quarter-finals will qualify for the semi-finals whereas the losing quarter-finalists will play in the Super League play-offs.

The winners of the Plate Championship quarter-finals will play in the Plate Championship semi-finals while the beaten quarter-finalists will participate in the Plate Championship play-offs.

A total of 44 matches, including 24 in the first round, seven in the Super League and 13 in play-offs will be played in three cities (Penang, Johor and Kuala Lumpur). ESPN Star Sports, ICC?s global media and production partners until 2015, will televise six matches live, including the two Super League semi-finals and the final.

The ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup is a vital part of the ICC Development Program and provides a vehicle for the best young cricketers in the world to parade their skills.

Many of the future stars of the game experience their first true international exposure at this tournament and players such as Brian Lara, Michael Atherton, Yuvraj Singh, Inzamam-ul-Haq, Chris Cairns, Michael Clarke, Graeme Smith and Sanath Jayasuriya have used the event as a stepping stone to full international honours.

First staged in Australia in 1988, the tournament was initially organised on an occasional basis, but since the commencement of the ICC Development Program in 1997 it has become a biennial fixture.

The 2010 ICC U/19 Cricket World Cup will be held in Kenya while the 2012 tournament will be staged in Canada and UAE will host the 2014 edition.

Groups (in brackets are seedings):

Group A (to be based in Johor) - Pakistan (1), Zimbabwe (8), New Zealand (9), Malaysia (16)

Group B (to be based in Kuala Lumpur) - India (2), West Indies (7), South Africa (10), PNG (15)

Group C (to be based in Penang) - Australia (3), Sri Lanka (6), Nepal (11), Namibia (14)

Group D (to be based in Kuala Lumpur) - England (4), Bangladesh (5), Bermuda (12), Ireland (13)

Schedule:

10 February - Teams arrive in Kuala Lumpur

11 February - Practice matches

12 February - Practice matches

13 February - Practice matches

14 February - Practice matches

15 February - Opening ceremony

17 February - Pakistan v Malaysia, Johor Cricket Academy (JCA), Johor; India v PNG, Kinrara Cricket Academy (KCA), Kuala Lumpur; Australia v Namibia, Penang Sports Club (PSC), Penang; England v Ireland, Selangor Turf Club (STC), Kuala Lumpur

18 February - Zimbabwe v New Zealand, JCA, Johor; West Indies v South Africa, KCA, Kuala Lumpur; Sri Lanka v Nepal, PSA, Penang; Bangladesh v Bermuda, STC, Kuala Lumpur.

19 February - Pakistan v New Zealand, Maktab Perguruan Temenggong Ibrahim (MPTI), Johor; India v South Africa, Bayueams Oval (BE), Kuala Lumpur; Australia v Nepal, University Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang; England v Bermuda, KCA, Kuala Lumpur

20 February - Malaysia v Zimbabwe, MPTI, Johor; West Indies v PNG, STC, Kuala Lumpur; Sri Lanka v Namibia, USM, Penang; Bangladesh v Ireland, BE, Kuala Lumpur

21 February - New Zealand v Malaysia, KCA, Johor; South Africa v PNG, STC, Kuala Lumpur; Nepal v Namibia, PSC, Penang; Bermuda v Ireland, KCA, Kuala Lumpur

22 February - Pakistan v Zimbabwe, MPTI, Johor; India v West Indies, KCA, Kuala Lumpur; Australia v Sri Lanka, USM, Penang; England v Bangladesh, STC, Kuala Lumpur

SUPER LEAGUE

24 February - Quarter-finals1 [winner group A v runners-up group D, STC, Kuala Lumpur]; Quarter-finals2 [winner group B v runners-up group C, KCA, Kuala Lumpur]

25 February - Quarter-finals3 [winner group D v runners-up group A, STC, Kuala Lumpur]; Quarter-finals4 [winner group C v runners-up group B, MPTI, Kuala Lumpur]

27 February - 1st semi-finals [winner QF1 v winner QF3, KCA, Kuala Lumpur]

28 February - reserve day

29 February - 2nd semi-finals [winner QF2 v winner QF4, KCA, Kuala Lumour]

30 February - reserve day

2 February - final, KCA, Kuala Lumpur

3 February - reserve day

PLATE CHAMPIONSHIP

24 February - QF1 [3rd group A v 4th group D, JCA, Johor]; QF2 [3rd group B v 4th group C, MPTI, Johor]

25 February - QF3 [3rd group D v 4th group A, JCA, Johor]; QF4 [3rd group C v 4th group B, MPTI, Johor]

27 February - Super League play-off semi-finals1 [loser QF1 v Loser QF2, BE, Kuala Lumpur]; plate semi-finals1 [winner QF1 v winner QF2, JCA, Johor]; plate play-off semi-finals1 [loser PL QF1 v loser PL QF2, MPTI, Johor]

28 February - Super League play-off semi2 [loser QF3 v loser QF4, BE, Kuala Lumpur]; plate semi-finals1 [winner PL QF1 v winner PL QF2, JCA, Johor]; plate semi-finals2 [winner PL QF3 v winner PL QF4, MPTI, Johor]

29 February - play-off semi-finals2 [loser PL QF3 v loser PL QF4, JCA, Johor]

1 February - Super League play-off final [winner play-off semi-finals1 v winner play-off semi-finals2, BE, Kuala Lumpur]; Plate final [winner SF1 v winner SF2, STC, Johor]; plate play-off final [winner plate play-off semi-finals1 v winner plate play-off semi-finals2, MPTI, Johor]

2 February - plate final reserve day



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