ICC Men’s U-19 Cricket World Cup 2024 to use new format

The much-awaited 2024 ICC men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup is scheduled to be played in January-February next year. The tournament was initially decided to held in Sri Lanka, however, the Island Nation lost the hosting rights after the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) was suspended by the International Cricket Council (ICC), with South Africa selected as the new venue.

India are the reigning champions of the tournament, having clinched the title in 2022 under Yash Dhull. The team will be led by Uday Saharan in the forthcoming edition and will be keen to defend the title.

The ICC has introduced a new format for the tournament, with the 16 teams divided into four groups of four each. Each team will play three matches in a single round-robin format in the first round and the top three teams from each group will qualify for the Super Six stage. The qualifying teams from Group A and Group D will be put in one group and those from Group B and Group C will be placed in another one.

In the Super Six, each qualifying team will retain their accumulated points, number of victories, and net run rate achieved against the other two qualifying teams from their first group. During this stage, every team is scheduled to compete in two matches.

The pairing of teams for the Super Six matches follows twp specific guidelines. First, a team will not face an opponent that advanced from the same group in the initial round, and second, the qualification position of the opponent must differ from that of the team.

To illustrate, consider a Super Six group comprising teams from Group B and Group C. The team securing the first position in Group B will compete against the teams finishing second and third in Group C, and so on.

Simultaneously, the teams that secured the fourth position in Group A and Group D will engage in a placement clash, as will the fourth-placed teams in the other two groups. In addition, the top two teams emerging from both Super Six groups- Group AD and Group BC, will secure berths in the semi-finals with the ultimate showdown scheduled for February 11 in Benoni.

The tournament’s initial round will witness six matches in each group, adding up to a total of 24 matches. Following this, the Super Six stage will feature six matches per group, totaling 12 matches. Teams eliminated in the first round will partake in two additional placement matches, and there will be three playoffs which are the two semi-finals and the final. In total, 41 games will be played over a span of 24 days.

The 16 teams are divided into four groups of four each:

Group A: India, Bangladesh, Ireland, USA

Group B: England, South Africa, West Indies, Scotland

Group C: Australia, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Namibia

Group D: Afghanistan, Pakistan, New Zealand, Nepal