Dubai [UAE], February 2 (ANI): Following the conclusion of a thrilling inaugural edition of the ICC U19 Women's T20 World Cup, cricket fans can catch a glimpse of the sport's upcoming stars during the qualifiers of ICC U19 Men's 50-over World Cup 2024, which will be held in Sri Lanka.
A busy pathway schedule for the marquee event in men's U19 cricket event was unveiled by ICC on Thursday.
"As the sun sets on a thrilling first edition of the ICC U19 Women's T20 World Cup, cricket fans craving a glimpse at the next generation of superstars can look forward to a busy pathway event schedule as attention now turns towards the next U19 event, the ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup 2024, in Sri Lanka," said a statement from ICC.
While Grace Scrivens, Shweta Sehrawat and Maggie Clarke recently made a name for themselves in South Africa at the inaugural ICC U19 Women's T20 World Cup, the U19 Men's Cricket World Cup also boasts of introducing several top names to world cricket; notably Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, and the Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy winner in the recently announced ICC Awards 2022, Babar Azam.
The 16-team event returns to Sri Lanka for the first time since 2006. 41 matches will take place from January 2024, taking in two round-robin stages - an initial four groups of four teams, and a subsequent Super 6 stage from which the semi-finalists will be determined.
The hosts are currently one of 11 teams already qualified for the event by virtue of being the best-placed ICC Full Member nations at the previous edition in 2022, with the remaining five nations due to compete for a place throughout a busy 2023 calendar.
Qualification for the final five places began in 2022 with Division Two Qualifiers taking place in the Asia, East-Asia Pacific and Europe regions. This stage helped decide the final teams lined up to battle it out at the Regional Qualifier stage, held in each of the five ICC regions, where the winning country in each will seal a place at the landmark event.
Speaking on the crunch pathway events due to take place before Sri Lanka 2024, ICC Head of Events, Chris Tetley commented, "The success of the recently concluded ICC U19 Women's T20 World Cup demonstrates how important these events are for cultivating the next generation of talented cricketers that will take the game to new levels.""As well as welcoming new competing nations during this pathway, qualification for the 2024 edition has already witnessed the competitive standard of cricket that is evident around the world. I am sure that we will see more thrilling encounters in the coming months and that Sri Lanka 2024 will continue the rich legacy this event has in forging playing opportunities on the global stage for some of the most exciting young talents in the game."2023 Regional Qualifier Schedule:The Asia Regional Qualifier is the first qualification event scheduled for 2023, and will be held in the United Arab Emirates from February 24 and March 2. Hong Kong, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nepal and Singapore all join hosts UAE to do battle for a spot at the ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup 2024.
The EAP Regional Qualifier will take place in Australia between June 12-21 and see seven nations go head-to head. Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, New Zealand, PNG, Samoa and Vanuatu will all be hoping to seal their place in Sri Lanka.
The next event will be the Africa Regional Qualifier, where six more teams will vie for a spot in Sri Lanka. Tanzania will host the event between July 23-29 where Division 2 qualifiers Kenya, Nigeria and Sierra Leone will feature together with Namibia, Uganda and Tanzania themselves.
The Europe Regional Qualifier will take place between August 6-12 in the Netherlands, where the hosts will welcome Jersey and Scotland, as well as successful qualifiers from the Division 2 stage, Guernsey, Italy and Norway.
Concluding the regional qualification stages, the Americas Regional Qualifier begins in Toronto, Canada, where the hosts will compete alongside Argentina, Bermuda, Suriname and the USA from August 11-17.
ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup 2024 Qualification Structure16 teams will be competing at the ICC U19 Men's Cricket World Cup Sri Lanka 2024 over 41 matches. 11 teams have automatically qualified for the event as the best-placed Full Member nations from the previous event in 2022. These are: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe.
The remaining five spots will be determined through regional qualification pathways, with one team from each region securing a place at the event.
Americas and EAP each host one qualifying event in 2023, with the winner of each event sealing a spot at the U19 Men's Cricket World Cup Sri Lanka 2024.
The Africa, Asia and Europe regions each have a two-step qualification structure. These regions hosted Division 2 Qualifiers in 2022 to determine the teams that will compete in the second and final qualifying event, the Regional Qualifier, with events taking place in 2023.
Only the winning teams from the Regional Qualifiers will qualify to compete at the U19 Men's Cricket World Cup Sri Lanka 2024. (ANI)