India to launch ICC U19 title defence against Pakistan
48 matches to be played across seven UAE venues from Feb 14
India will open its ICC U19 Cricket World Cup title defence against traditional rival and two-time former champion 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.
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 four groups are:
ICC General Manager – Cricket, Mr Geoff Allardice, while announcing the groups and fixtures in Dubai, said: “The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup is a hugely important event for international teams and for the ICC, as it showcases the future stars of international cricket.
“The tournament has produced more than 40 Full Member players that have gone on to captain their side in international cricket in different formats - Brian Lara, Graeme Smith and Inzamam-ul-Haq, to name a few. The ICC U19 CWC gives the world’s best young cricketers a chance to test their skills in a truly global event.
“Teams will need to be at their best every day if they want to win the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup. We expect to see some spectacular cricket.”
Sri Lanka’s ODI captain Angelo Mathews played in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cups 2006 and 2008, and, reflecting on his time at these events said: “Having played in a couple of ICC U19 Cricket World Cups, I can tell you that this is the best stage for any raw talent to polish his skills and see if he’s worthy enough of progressing to the biggest stage of them all – international cricket at the senior level.
“The lessons that I learned in Bangladesh in 2004 and in Sri Lanka in 2006 have, in hindsight, been truly invaluable.
“I didn’t get to bat too much in Bangladesh in 2004, but did enjoy some success with the ball, especially against Zimbabwe in a group match, and that gave me the confidence to pursue greater heights, and told me I belonged in international cricket.
“A couple of years later, my all-round performance in four matches instilled the belief in me that I was ready for the big league. I boasted my team’s second highest average with the bat, 51, in the 2006 edition. And with the ball, I topped the averages at 17.66 and had an economy rate of 3.24. It was the confidence of that success that I carried through to the big league, and which went a long way in my journey towards donning national colours and eventually leading the senior side.”
The UAE tournament will be the 10th edition of the ICC U19 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.
AB de Villiers tops ODI rankings
de Kock, Steyn gain ranks; India retain No.1 spot
South Africa captain AB de Villiers has regained the number-one rank on the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen as he moved up one place at the end of the three-match series against India, which ended on Wednesday.
The latest rankings update was released on Thursday, a day after the final match in the series was washed out to hand the home team a 2-0 series win. The series win has resulted in a number of South Africa players making a move in the right direction in both the batting and bowling lists.
Leading the way is De Villiers, who had started the series in second spot behind India’s Virat Kohli, trailing by 17 ratings points on theReliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI batsmen. But now de Villiers at 872 has not only regained the number-one rank, he has also opened up a 13 ratings points lead over Kohli.
De Villiers, who scored 189 runs in three completed innings during the series, was the second highest run-getter on either side with a top score of 109 in the final match.
De Villiers, who was named in both the ICC Test and ODI Teams of the Year in 2013, now heads both the Test and ODI batting tables. De Villiers had also been shortlisted for the LG People's Choice Award this year.
De Villiers is the third batsman from South Africa after Jacques Kallis and Hashim Amla to head the Test and ODI batting tables at the same time, and the ninth player overall. Amla achieved the distinction in February this year when he topped the charts after the Johannesburg Test against Pakistan.
Amla, on the other hand, has moved up a place to third in the batting list.
Meanwhile, South Africa’s Quinton de Kock has made the biggest gain in the latest rankings following his three successive hundreds in the series, jumping 61 places to a career-best 14th with a best-ever 672 ratings points.
De Kock became only the fifth batsman in history to score three successive ODI hundreds, to thereby end as the highest run-getter in the series with 342 runs.
Outside the top 20, the batsmen to move up include JP Duminy in 24th (up by three), David Miller in 45th (up by 12) and Ravindra Jadeja in 71st (up by one).
Meanwhile, South Africa fast bowler Dale Steyn has continued his upward move in the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers. Steyn has moved up three positions to second after claiming six wickets in the two ODIs that he played.
Pakistan spinner Saeed Ajmal continues to be number-one ranked on the Reliance ICC Player Rankings for ODI bowlers.
The other two South Africa bowlers inside the top 10 are Lonwabo Tsotsobe in eighth (up by two) and Morne Morkel in ninth.
Meanwhile, Ryan McLaren has entered the top 20 of the bowling ranking for the first time, as he moved up two places to sit in 20th.
Outside the top 20, the bowlers to advance up the rankings include Mohammed Shami in 43rd (up by seven) and Ishant Sharma in 51st(up by 16).
Meanwhile, both South Africa and India retained their pre-series ranking on the Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings table.
India dropped two ratings points owing to the 0-2 series loss to end at 120 ratings points, while South Africa continues to be in fifth place with 110 ratings points, with a gain of three points.
South Africa started the series with an opportunity to move up a place to fourth, ahead of Sri Lanka, but only if it swept the series 3-0. A washout in the final match meant that South Africa retained its pre-series fifth rank.