UAE will become the centre of attraction for world junior cricket fans when, in February 2014, as the nation hosts the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 Cricket World Cup. 16 teams are set to compete in the much coveted tournament including 10 test playing nations and 6 teams that will be decided by a World Cup (WC) qualifier.
“It’s a great honour for UAE that we have been allotted this prestigious tournament to be contested by the world’s best rising stars.The matches will be held in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sarjah” administrator of Emirate Cricket Board Mazar Khan told gulf news.
The ICC U-19 World Cup was initially staged as a one-off event in Australia in 1988. The tournament was restored in 1998, and since then has been held once every two years. India is the defending champion of the tournament who beat the host Australia in the final by 6 wickets in the 9th edition of the tournament held earlier this year.
The UAE will stage the tenth edition of the tournament, which India and Australia have won three times, Pakistan twice and England once.
With UAE as hosts the road to the U-19 World Cup may be a bit tougher for the non-test playing nations, as UAE gets automatic entry to the tournament, so if UAE doesn’t end in the top six teams of WC qualifier, the sixth team will not qualify to give room for the host in the tournament.
Nepal has played the U-19 world Cup 5 occasions, featuring in every tournament since 2002 till now except the 2010 tournament. It was crowned the plate Champion in 2006 and runner up 2008.Nepal has half a dozen teams with ICC ODI status; teams like South Africa, New Zealand and Zimbabwe in U-19 level giving them the trendy name “Giant Killers.”
To qualify for the next U-19 WC, Nepal first has to reach the finals of the ACC elite cup. Then it shall compete in the WC qualifier and has to end in top 6(or 5 depending how UAE performs. Nepal qualified for the 2012 version of the tournament being second in the U-19 WC qualifiers held in Ireland last year.
For Cricnepal by Arun Upreti