Dubai, Feb 20: Former champions India were on Monday handed a relatively easy draw in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup and will open their campaign against the West Indies on August 12, 2012.
The tournament will be held in Australia from August 11 to 26.
India have been grouped with Zimbabwe, Papua New Guinea besides the West Indies in Group C, and will play their first match at the Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville, Queensland.
India have reached the zenith of glory at this tournament twice — Mohammad Kaif put his hands on the glittering trophy in Sri Lanka in 2000 and then Virat Kohli led the team to a well-deserved triumph in Malaysia in 2008.
India will play their second match, against Zimbabwe on 14 August at the same venue, two days before taking on Papua New Guinea at Endeavour Park 1.
Defending champions Australia will aim to match Pakistan"s achievement when they launch the defence of their title against traditional rivals and former champions England on the opening day of the 16-day tournament on August 11.
Together with Australia and England, also in action in Townsville on the opening day will be Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea who will face each other at Endeavour Park 1, while four Asian rivals will go head to head in Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast with Sri Lanka meeting Bangladesh at the Allan Border Field and Pakistan taking on Afghanistan at the John Blanck Oval.
Australia are the most successful team in the history of the under-19 Cricket World Cup, having won the title thrice – in 1988, 2002 and 2010.
However, Pakistan are the only side to have won back-to-back titles when it won the top laurels in 2004 and 2006 in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, respectively.
The 16 teams have been divided into four groups with the top two progressing to the Super League quarterfinals while the two bottom teams from each group will qualify for the Plate Championship quarterfinals.
The winners of the Super League quarterfinals will qualify for the semifinals whereas the losing quarterfinalists will play in the Super League play-offs.
The winners of the Plate Championship quarterfinals will play in the Plate Championship semifinals while the beaten quarterfinalists will participate in the Plate Championship play-offs.
A total of 48 matches, including 24 in the first round, 12 in the Super League and 12 in the Plate Championship will be played at eight venues — Tony Ireland Stadium, Endeavour Park 1, Endeavour Park 2 (all in Townsville), Allan Border Field, Peter Burge Oval (Redlands DCC), WEP Harris Oval (in Brisbane) John Blanck Oval and Kev Hackney Oval (on the Sunshine Coast).
The Super League Final is slated for August 26, two days after the Plate final.
The ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup 2014 will be staged in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).