The four groups are the same as they were announced earlier: India, Bangladesh, Ireland and USA are in Group A; England, South Africa, West Indies and Scotland in B; Australia, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Namibia in C; and Afghanistan, Pakistan, New Zealand and Nepal in D.
Two games will be played on the first day – Ireland vs USA in Bloemfontein and South Africa vs West Indies in Potchefstroom – and defending champions India will begin their campaign the following day, with a game against 2020 champions Bangladesh in Bloemfontein.
An ICC statement on Monday confirmed the dates for the tournament as well as the five venues where the 41 matches will be played: Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein, JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom, East London’s Buffalo Park, Kimberley Oval, and Willowmoore Park in Benoni.
It will also be played in a new format, where teams progressing from the four groups of four teams each will enter a Super Six stage, where two groups of six teams will vie to get into the semi-finals.
The tournament had to be shifted out of Sri Lanka after the ICC Board provisionally suspending Sri Lanka Cricket, on November 23, because of extensive government interference in the SLC’s administration.
“In the past 12 months we have seen South Africa successfully deliver two milestone events for the sport – the inaugural ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup last year, and the groundbreaking ICC Women’s T20 World Cup that immediately followed,” ICC head of events, Chris Tetley, said. “The relocation of the U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 to South Africa allows us the opportunity to build on this momentum and welcome the best young cricketers on the planet to five notable international venues.”
Tournament director Wanele Mngomezulu said, “While the task of hosting the U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 has been conferred upon us with very tight timelines, we are happy to take on the challenge. Hosting this event allows us an opportunity to further sharpen our skills and capabilities in the run up to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2027 which will be held in South Africa.
“Hosting the tournament on home soil is opportune for us to promote cricket to sport loving South Africans and attract new fans and young talent to the game, thereby driving our strategic pillars of excellence, access, and inclusion.”
Ahead of the event, the teams will play two warm-up matches each, between January 13 and 17, in Johannesburg and Pretoria.