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Opinion

A guide to the 2020 under-19s World Cup

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15th January, 2020
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The ICC U19 World Cup is the perfect platform for up-and-coming cricket sensations to make their mark at an international level.

This 16-nation tournament first began in 1988. Since 1990, has been held every two years in countries such as Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and most recently New Zealand.

The next edition of this competition starts this Friday and is being hosted in South Africa. In honour of this event, here is a guide to this year’s U19 World Cup and the Australian squad that will participate in it.

Who will be there and where are they competing?
This tournament will combine both historically strong cricket countries as well as nations that are fairly new to the international scene.

The Test-playing countries that are in the competition include India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Australia, England, West Indies, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and South Africa.

The newer countries that will be competing in the 2020 U19 World Cup are United Arab Emirates, Canada, Scotland, Nigeria and Japan.

The matches will take place at various cricket grounds around South Africa such as Diamond Oval in Kimberley, JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom, North West University Oval in Potchefstroom, Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein, Country Club B Field in Kimberley, Witrand Oval in Potchefstroom, Willowmoore Park in Benoni and Ibbies oval in Potchefstroom.

Mackenzie Harvey

Mackenzie Harvey is in Australia’s squad. (Photo by Jason McCawley/Getty Images)

How does the competition work?
In the group stages, there are four groups with four teams in each. After each team plays each other once, the bottom two teams from each group enter the plate competition. Meanwhile, the top two teams from each group enter the Super league.

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In the Super League, first place from one group will play against second place from another group in the quarter-finals and the winner of that match then progresses on to the semi-finals and then the final.

Where can I watch?
All but one of Australia’s group stage matches will be broadcasted live on Fox Sports and Kayo. The only Australian match that won’t be shown will be their second game of the tournament against underdogs Nigeria.

Fox Sports and Kayo will also cover some non-Australian group stage matches such as India vs Sri Lanka, England vs West Indies, India vs Japan, India vs New Zealand and South Africa vs UAE. Whether or not any finals matches will receive live coverage in Australia via either Kayo or Fox Sports still remains unknown.

Who’s playing for Australia?
The Australian squad competing in the tournament will consist of many recognisable domestic and Big Bash players. Arguably, the most noticeable names within the side are the Melbourne Renegades’ very own Mackenzie Harvey and 17-year-old Jake Fraser-McGurk.

The full squad is as follows: Cooper Connolly, Oliver Davies, Sam Fanning, Jake Fraser-McGurk, Mackenzie Harvey, Lachlan Hearne, Corey Kelly, Liam Marshall, Todd Murphy, Patrick Rowe, Tanveer Sangha, Liam Scott, Bradley Simpson, Connor Sully, Matthew Willans.

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What are the group stage fixtures?
All matches start at 7:00PM AEST

Friday January 17
South Africa v Afghanistan at Diamond Oval

Saturday January 18
Bangladesh v Zimbabwe at JB Marks Oval
New Zealand v Japan at North West University Ground
United Arab Emirates v Canada at Mangaung Oval
Australia v West Indies at Diamond Oval

Sunday January 19
Scotland v Pakistan at North West University Ground
India v Sri Lanka at Mangaung Oval

Monday January 20
England v West Indies at Diamond Oval
Australia v Nigeria at Country Club B Field

Tuesday January 21
Bangladesh v Scotland at Witrand Field
India v Japan at Mangaung Oval

Wednesday January 22
New Zealand v Sri Lanka at Mangaung Oval
Pakistan v Zimbabwe at Witrand Field
United Arab Emirates v Afghanistan at North West University Ground
Canada v South Africa at JB Marks Oval

Thursday January 23
Australia v England at Diamond Oval
Nigeria v West Indies at Country Club B Field

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Friday January 24
Bangladesh v Pakistan at JB Marks Oval
Canada v Afghanistan at North West University Ground
India v New Zealand at Mangaung Oval

Saturday January 25
Japan v Sri Lanka at North West University Ground
Zimbabwe v Scotland at Witrand Field
United Arab Emirates v South Africa at Mangaung Oval
England v Nigeria at Diamond Oval

Australia have a good chance in this World Cup, coming off a successful 3-0 victory in their most recent one-day series against New Zealand.

This will also be the first Under 19s World Cup where former Australian Test opener Chris Rogers will be a part of the coaching staff.

As a whole, this will be a good tournament and one where Australia have a good chance at taking out gold for the first time in a decade.