Asian Di­vi­sion 2 qual­i­fiers for world youth meet start in Bangkok, Chi­ang Mai to­day

Bangkok Post - - CRICKET -

>> The 11-day Asia Qual­i­fier Di­vi­sion 2 for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup starts to­day in Thai­land with 10 teams play­ing group matches in Bangkok and Chi­ang Mai be­fore the semi­fi­nals and fi­nal are held in Bangkok to de­cide the two teams which will move a step closer to the next U19 World Cup to be held in South Africa in 2020.

The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup has al­ways held an im­por­tant place in the global cricket scene as it of­ten pro­vides the first chance for the best young crick­eters to shine in a ma­jor in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion.

The event is staged ev­ery two years with the next com­pe­ti­tion due to take place in South Africa in Jan­uary and Fe­bru­ary 2020 with In­dia look­ing to de­fend the tro­phy they won in New Zealand in 2018.

The 11 lead­ing coun­tries have al­ready been awarded places in the 16-team com­pe­ti­tion but the qual­i­fi­ca­tion process is well un­der­way with a total of 50 coun­tries across five re­gions com­pet­ing for the last five places.

The long jour­ney be­gan in Es­sex in Eng­land in July and Au­gust with three teams, the Nether­lands, France and Den­mark, mov­ing up from Europe Di­vi­sion 2; three more teams, Nige­ria, Sierra Leone and Tan­za­nia qual­i­fied from Africa Di­vi­sion 2 which was held in Potchef­stroom, South Africa in Au­gust; and a busy year will come to a close with the Asia Di­vi­sion 2 qual­i­fiers be­ing held in Bangkok and Chi­ang Mai until Dec 17 when the top two teams will progress to the next stage.

This will com­plete the full list of teams for the Di­vi­sion 1 qual­i­fiers from the five re­gions, Asia, Africa, Europe, East Asia Pa­cific and Amer­i­cas, with each hold­ing a six-team com­pe­ti­tion dur­ing 2019. The win­ners of these Di­vi­sion 1 tour­na­ments will qual­ify for the next ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in South Africa.

The top two teams from this Asia Qual­i­fier Di­vi­sion 2 will join Nepal, Malaysia, Sin­ga­pore and the UAE in the Asia Di­vi­sion 1 com­pe­ti­tion which will be staged in Malaysia in April 2019 and the win­ners will be one of the 16 teams which will compete in the 13th edi­tion of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup.

Ten teams from across Asia are tak­ing part in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Asia Di­vi­sion 2 com­pe­ti­tion with the teams di­vided into two groups — Group A held in Bangkok and Group B in Chi­ang Mai.

Bhutan, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Ara­bia join hosts Thai­land in Group A, while Bahrain, China, Hong Kong, Kuwait and Mal­dives make up Group B.

Ev­ery team will have the op­por­tu­nity to play four 50-over games in their group with matches be­ing played at Terdthai Cricket Ground and at the Asian In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy in Bangkok, and at Gymkhana Club and David Buck Oval at Prem In­ter­na­tional School in Chi­ang Mai.

The group matches will be played over six days until Fri­day with games be­ing played on all four grounds each day no fewer than four times in an ex­tremely busy sched­ule for play­ers and of­fi­cials.

The two lead­ing teams from each group will move on to the semi-fi­nals which will be held at TCG and AIT in Bangkok on Dec 16 when the two semi-fi­nal win­ners will qual­ify to take part in the Asia Qual­i­fier Di­vi­sion 1 in Malaysia.

The tour­na­ment will con­clude on Dec 17 with the fi­nal be­ing held at TCG and the third-place play-off at AIT.

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