West Indies and Australia are set to face off in the 2022 U19 men's Word Cup opener on January 22 at the National Stadium in Guyana. A total of sixteen teams will be competing in the 14th edition of the tournament hosted for the first by West Indies across 10 venues and 48 matches with the final set to be played on January 5 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antingua and Barbuda.
Last edition's finalists India are pooled in Group B alongside debutants Uganda, South Africa and Ireland. Current holders Bangladesh are in Group A alongside England, Canada and the United Arab Emirates. Group C comprises Pakistan, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea and Group D sees host West Indies, Australia and Sri Lanka. Scotland complete the tournament line up in Group D after New Zealand withdrew due to the extensive mandatory quarantine restrictions for minors on their return home.
The Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago have been chosen as the hosts for the competition which will see the top two teams from each of the four groups advance to the Super League while the remaining teams feature in the Plate across 23 days of competition.
The group stage will take place across Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago between January 14 and 22 with Trinidad and Tobago hosting the Plate competition between January 25 and 31.
The competition will then move to Antigua and Barbuda for the Super League stage starting from January 26. The semi-finals will be played on February 1 at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground and Coolidge Cricket Ground on February 2.
Cricket West Indies President Ricky Skerritt said: “CWI is looking forward to hosting this important global U19 cricket event, which is just around the corner, in January. In partnership with host territorial boards, cricket clubs, and Ministries of Sports, we have been hard at work preparing for this event over the past several months. However, amid so many Covid-related challenges, it has not been easy to finalise the venues and to work out all the related logistics.
"I am also confident that our visitors will experience the best of our world-famous Caribbean culture and hospitality in Antigua & Barbuda, Guyana, St. Kitts & Nevis, and Trinidad & Tobago,” he added,
ICC Head of Events, Chris Tetley said that the global event will help the emergence of future stars just like it has done with the previous editions.
“So many of the best players have competed at the U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup including Virat Kohli, Babar Azam, Joe Root and Shimron Hetmyer and we are looking forward to the 2022 edition to see who emerges as the future stars.
India have bagged the title four times with the last one coming in 2018, while Australia were crowned champions three times, Pakistan twice. England, West Indies, South Africa and Bangladesh have won it once each.
CWI also announced that 16 warm-up matches will take place between January 9 and 12 in St Kitts and Nevis and Guyana.