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