Under-19 World Cup: India to begin title defence against Sri Lanka

Four-time champions India have been grouped alongside New Zealand, Sri Lanka and first-timers Japan in Group A in the tournament, starting on January 17.

Prithvi Shaw and Rahul Dravid pose with the U-19 World Cup Trophy after India defeated Australia in the 2018 final. `   -  GETTY IMAGES

Holders India will begin their Under-19 World Cup defence with a clash against Sri Lanka on January 19 at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

Four-time champions India have been grouped alongside New Zealand, Sri Lanka and first-timers Japan in Group A in the tournament, starting on January 17.

India will take on Japan and New Zealand on January 21 and 24 respectively in the 16-team tournament, the final of which is scheduled for February 9.

Last edition’s runner-up and three-time champion Australia will take on West Indies in Group B opening encounter that also features England and debutants Nigeria.

Group C will see Pakistan battle alongside Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Scotland.

Hosts South Africa will play their opening match against Afghanistan on January 17. United Arab Emirates and Canada are the other teams in Group D.

The 13th edition of the tournament will see the second phase dividing the teams into Super League and Plate tournaments.

The top two teams from each of the four groups will advance to the Super League while the remaining teams will feature in the Plate championship.

The JB Marks Oval in Potchefstroom will host two Super League quarterfinals, both semifinals and the final.

The top 11 full members in the last edition in New Zealand and the five regional champions, who have qualified for the event, will also play warm-up matches from 12-15 January in Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Group A: India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Japan

Group B: Australia, England, West Indies, Nigeria

Group C: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Scotland

Group D: Afghanistan, South Africa, UAE, Canada

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