Dubai: Hosts South Africa will open their campaign against Afghanistan in next year’s ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, a tournament that showcases the world’s future cricket stars. Holders India face Sri Lanka in their opening match.

South Africa, hosts in 1998 and champions in 2014, play their opening match at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley on January 17. The tournament runs till February 10. The United Arab Emirates and Canada are the other teams they will have to contend with in Group D of the 16-team tournament, the final of which is scheduled for February 9.

In other matches slated over the first few days, New Zealand take on Japan who will be making their debut in an ICC global event at the North West University Oval in Potchefstroom on January 18.

Defending champions India play Sri Lanka at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on January 19. Nigeria, who are also making their ICC event debut will face Australia in Kimberley on January 20 for their opening game.

Benoni and Kimberley are the other host cities for the 13th edition of the tournament, being played as per the format used in previous editions, with the second phase dividing the teams into Super League and Plate tournaments. The top two teams from each of the four groups advance to the Super League while the remaining teams feature in the Plate championship.

The top 11 full Members in the last edition in New Zealand and the five regional champions, who have qualified for the event, will also play warm-up matches from January 12 to 15 in Johannesburg and Pretoria.


Group A: India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Japan

Group B: Australia, England, West Indies, Nigeria

Group C: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Scotland

Group D: Afghanistan, South Africa, UAE, Canada