The schedule for the 2018 ICC under-19 World Cup has been announced earlier today. The 22-day tournament will kick off on January 13 with four different matches taking place across all the four cities, Christchurch, Queenstown, Tauranga and Whangarei.
On the opening day, defending champions West Indies take on hosts New Zealand in a Group A at the Bay Oval in Tarunga while Pakistan take on their neighbours Afghanistan with Zimbabwe and Bangladesh taking on Papua New Guinea and Namibia respectively.
A total of 16 teams take part in the tournament with fours teams each in four different groups. Group A consists of West Indies, South Africa, New Zealand and Kenya. Two-time champions India, Zimbabwe, PNG and Australia form Group B while Bangladesh, England, Namibia and Canada feature in Group C. Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Ireland complete Group D.
The top two sides from each group will advance to the Super League while the remaining eight teams will figure in the plate championship. The final of the tournament will be played at Bay Oval in Tauranga on 3 February while both semifinals will be played at Hagley Oval in Christchurch on 29 and 30 January. The plate championship will run simultaneously but end with the final at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Christchurch on 28 January, a day before the start of the first semifinal of the super league.
The ICC also announced that only 20 out of the 44 matches will be broadcasted on television and that includes quarterfinals, semifinals and final of the Super League. It is still unclear whether India's league matches will be telecasted or not.
India start their campaign against Australia on January 14 followed by PNG and Zimbabwe on January 16 and January 19 respectively. All the three league matches featuring India will take place at the Bay Oval in Tauranga.
Before the start of the tournament, the teams will have few warm-up games from 8-11 January to tune themselves for the extravaganza.
Group A: West Indies, South Africa, New Zealand and Kenya
Group B: India, Zimbabwe, PNG and Australia
Group C: Bangladesh, England, Namibia and Canada
Group D: Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Ireland
Here is the full schedule of the 2018 under 19 World Cup