Dubai, Dec 14: India will open their ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup title defence against arch rivals and two-time former champions Pakistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium (DICS), Dubai Sports City, on 15 February 2014.
The tournament will be staged across seven venues in the UAE from 14 February to 1 March, and will also be participated in by Afghanistan, Canada, Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Scotland and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) besides the 10 Full Members, ICC announced today.
India, which also won the tournament under Mohammad Kaif and Virat Kohli in 2000 and 2008, respectively, defeated Pakistan by one-wicket in an enthralling semi-final before going on to beat Australia by six wickets in the 2012 final in Townsville, Australia.
In the 2010 event in New Zealand, Pakistan beat India in a last-ball thriller in the quarter-final in Lincoln. The two sides also met in the final of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2006 in Colombo where Pakistan defended a modest total of 110 to win by 39 runs.
In the 16-day tournament, 48 matches will be played across seven venues, which are: Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi; Abu Dhabi Oval 1; Abu Dhabi Oval 2; Sharjah Cricket Stadium; Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai Sports City; ICC Academy Oval 1, Dubai, and ICC Academy Oval 2, Dubai.
On the opening day of the tournament on 14 February, four matches will be played, with 1998 winner England taking on the UAE at Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi; Zimbabwe locking horns with Canada at Abu Dhabi Oval 1; New Zealand meeting Sri Lanka at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, and South Africa taking on the West Indies at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
The format of the competition is such that 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 qualify for the Plate Championship quarter-finals.
The UAE tournament will be the 10th edition of the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup since its inception in 1988. Australia won the tournament in 1988, 2002 and 2010, England was the champion in 1998, India held aloft the trophy in 2000, 2008 and 2012 and Pakistan was the winner in 2004 and 2006.
The four groups
Group A: India, Pakistan, Scotland, Papua New Guinea
Group B: Australia, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Namibia
Group C: South Africa, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Canada
Group D: New Zealand, England, Sri Lanka, UAE
1988 - Australia
1998 - England
2000 - India
2002 - Australia
2004 - Pakistan
2006 - Pakistan
2008 - India
2010 - Australia
2012 - India