Thatscricket - News - Cricket: Hosts New Zealand, Sri Lanka to open junior World Cup
Published: Thursday, November 15, 2001, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
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New Delhi: Hosts New Zealand will clash with Sri Lanka in the opening match of the junior World Cup in January, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Thursday.[an error occurred while processing this directive]The tournament, featuring under-19 teams from 16 countries, will be played across New Zealand from January 19 and end with the final at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln on February 10.The 16 teams, ranging from the 10 Test-playing nations to unlikely contenders like Nepal and Papua New Guinea, have been divided into four preliminary groups.The top two from each group will play in the super-league which will throw up the four semi-finalists.Defending champion India, which won the title at the 2000 event in Sri Lanka, has been drawn with South Africa, Bangladesh and Canada in Group 'A'.Group 'B' comprises Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Namibia.Pakistan, England, Nepal and Papua New Guinea are in Group 'C', while Group 'D' is made of Australia, West Indies, Scotland, Kenya.Group 'A' matches will be played in Auckland, Groups 'B' and 'C' in Christchurch and Group 'D' in Dunedin.This is the third junior World Cup organised by the ICC, following the previous two in South Africa in 1998 and Sri Lanka last year."Bringing together the most talented and gifted cricketers for this under-19 World Cup is tremendously exciting, and something the ICC is very proud to be associated with," ICC president Malcolm Gray said in a press release."As a stepping stone to the senior international game, this tournament provides a wonderful opportunity for the cricketers who will gather in New Zealand."There can be few, if any, better experiences for young sportsmen than being selected to represent their countries in an event of this stature and importance," Gray said.
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