Dubai, Jan 28: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will host a major ICC event for the very first time, with the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup UAE 2014 (ICC U-19 CWC) being staged there from 14 February to 1 March.
The seven venues to be used for the tournament in the UAE are the 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 the ICC Academy Oval 2, Dubai.
Australia hosted the inaugural edition of the ICC U19 CWC in 1988. The tournament was subsequently staged in South Africa in 1998, Sri Lanka in 2000, New Zealand in 2002, Bangladesh in 2004, Sri Lanka in 2006, Malaysia in 2008, New Zealand in 2010 and Australia in 2012.
Discussing what it means to the UAE to host the 10th edition of the ICC U19 CWC, David East, the Chief Executive of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), said: "It is a great honour for us to have been asked to stage this major event for the ICC.
"It is a very significant milestone in the development of the UAE's profile in international cricket, and will showcase the country as an ideal destination for global events", he said.
While the ICC U19 CWC is the first major global ICC tournament to be staged by the UAE, it has hosted several ICC-event matches in the past 12 months alone.
These include those of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier UAE 2013, which was staged from 15-30 November, and the final of the ICC Intercontinental Cup 2011-13 between Afghanistan and Ireland from 10-13 December.
Apart from these, the country has also hosted the Asian Cricket Council U19 Asia Cup earlier this month. It is also considered Pakistan's second home. And, in recent times, Sharjah has come into the spotlight for becoming Afghanistan's adopted home and ‘hosting' its matches there.
Outlining why the UAE is a great choice for global cricket events, East said: "We are very fortunate to have three world class stadia in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, with all being very experienced at delivering regular international cricket.
"In addition we are very well positioned geographically with excellent transport, hotels and cultural activities, making travel to the country a simple and pleasurable experience for players and supporters alike.
"The weather in February should be perfect for the tournament, and with the UAE being one of the safest places in the world to visit, it makes for an ideal destination for international events such as this", he added.