India to face Pakistan in ICC U19 World Cup campaign opener

IndiaIndia held aloft the trophy in 2000, 2008 and 2012 and Pakistan was the winner in 2004 and 2006.

India will launch their ICC U19 Cricket World Cup title defence against traditional rivals and two-time former champions Pakistan at the Dubai International Stadium on February 15 next year.

The tournament will be staged across seven venues in the United Arab Emirates from February 14 to March 1, and will also be participated in by Afghanistan, Canada, Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Scotland and the UAE besides the 10 Full Members.

India, which had 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 U19 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 - 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, four matches will be played with 1998 winner England taking on the UAE, Zimbabwe locking horns with Canada, New Zealand meeting Sri Lanka, and South Africa taking on the West Indies.

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.

ICC General Manager (Cricket), 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."

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