ICC Under 19 Men's World Cup 2022
All you need to know for the U19 World Cup
The next generation of international stars will be in action at the Under-19 World Cup starting tonight, including broadcast details, squads and fixtures
14 January 2022, 04:26 PM AEST
When does it start?
Tonight! Australia will play in the opening match of the tournament against hosts the West Indies, with the game beginning at midnight. That will kick-off nine days of group matches before the finals start.
Where is it being played?
The West Indies are hosting for the first time, with four Caribbean nations and nine venues to present the 48 scheduled matches. Antigua, Guyana, Saint Kitts and Trinidad will all host games, with the final to played at Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua.
What's the time difference like?
It’s not the most favourable for the Australian audience, with all matches to start at midnight. Western Australian viewers fare a little better with this making it a 9pm start. But don't let this deter you, as the young talent on display will make the early wake up – or late stay, worth every minute of your time.
When are Australia's matches?
All games start at midnight AEDT
January 15: v West Indies, Guyana National Stadium
January 18: v Sri Lanka, Conaree Cricket Centre
January 20: v Scotland, Conaree Cricket Centre
The finals, comprising of a Super League and a Plate League, run from January 26 to February 6.
How can I watch it?
Foxtel and Kayo Sports are the ICC's broadcast partners in Australia, and those platforms will be showing the one match per day that the ICC have selected for broadcast, starting with Australia's clash with the West Indies tonight.
A host of other matches – including Australia's group stage matches against Sri Lanka and Scotland – will be streamed on ICC.tv and available free of charge.
How many countries are taking part?
16 teams will be in the Caribbean for the bi-yearly tournament, which will be made up of four groups of four teams for the round matches.
New Zealand won't be one of them, who despite qualifying for the tournament, withdrew in late 2021 due to quarantine complications that would be in place upon their return from the campaign. They have been replaced by Scotland, who find themselves in the same group as Australia.
Afghanistan have faced some troubles in the lead up to the tournament, not arriving in the Windies until Wednesday due to issues in obtaining the necessary visas. Consequently, their warm-up matches against England and the UAE were cancelled.
Bangladesh are the reigning champions, defeating India by three wickets in the 2020 final, and will be looking to secure back-to-back titles for the first time in their history.
How does the tournament work?
As mentioned above, there will be four groups of four teams to begin the competition, with each nation playing the three opponents in their group once.
After the group stage, the 16-team competition splits into two groups of eight for a Super League and Plate finals series. The top two from each group will move onto the Super League stage, and the bottom two the Plate stage.
The Plate finals series ranks teams from nine to 16 and will finish on January 31, while the Super League will culminate in the final on February 5 in Antigua.
Each team will play three matches regardless of whether they lose their quarter or semi-finals in both the Plate and Super League, as play-off matches are conducted to determine qualification for the next version of the tournament.
All games are 50-over matches.
Group A: Bangladesh, Canada, England and UAE
Group B: India, Ireland, South Africa and Uganda
Group C: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe
Group D: Australia, Scotland, Sri Lanka and West Indies
What's the COVID-19 situation in the West Indies?
The ICC recently outlined biosecurity protocols that will be in place for the tournament to ensure the safety of all players and officials.
They have set up a Biosafety Scientific Advisory Group (BSAG) headed by an independent chair in partnership with participating members and host nation governments. The BSAG will oversee any issues relating to biosafety and will ensure any COVID-19 issues that arise are dealt with appropriately in line with scientific and medical advice. All teams have done quarantine after arriving in the Caribbean and are now in Managed Event Environments (MMEs).
ICC Head of Integrity Alex Marshall said the sole focus was on the physical and mental wellbeing of the players especially given their youth, as well as staff and officials.
"The ICC has planned a robust and proportionate biosafety plan in partnership with Cricket West Indies and the four host country governments in line with global sports body best practice," he said.
"We are fully expecting a number of positive tests with regular testing of all participants, and that will be managed according to our biosafety plan and under the guidance of BSAG. Merely registering a positive PCR test result within a team will not result in the automatic postponement or cancelation of fixtures. The main principle is to continue playing with appropriate mitigations in place if it is safe, practicable and proportionate to do so. Thanks to our hosts and the teams for their commitment to delivering a safe World Cup."
What are Australia's chances?
Despite being a little underprepared heading into game one given the squad has only been together for a short period of time and have only one warm-up match under their belt, Australia have traditionally performed strongly at the U19 World Cup and are expected to do so once again.
The Aussies will be led by Western Australian young gun Cooper Connolly; a member of the most recent edition of the U19 World Cup in 2020 where he was the side's lone bottom-age player.
Connolly in particular will enter the opener against the Windies with confidence, having blasted 64 from 53 deliveries against them in the fifth placed play-off in the 2020 tournament, and coming off a century against India in their warm-up match.
He headlines a strong top order for Australia, with the likes of Teague Wyllie, Campbell Kellaway and Isaac Higgins also tipped to help the side post big totals, with batting a clear strength for the team.
Australia have also stocked up on spin bowlers for the traditionally turn-friendly pitches offered in the Caribbean, with the ambidextrous Nivethan Radhakrishnan poised to wreak havoc with his unpredictability, while off spinners Jackson Sinfield and bottom age player Harkirat Bajwa will also play important roles.
NSW rookie Jack Nisbet will lead the fast-bowling cartel, while Tobias Snell and Lachlan Shaw both provide clean options with the wicket-keeping gloves, with all bases covered for the three-time champions.
The Aussies find themselves in Group D alongside the West Indies, Sri Lanka and Scotland, and face an up-hill battle of finishing top two in their group given their relative lack of preparation when compared to their opposition, as both the Windies and Sri Lanka have been competing in Youth ODI series over the past few months.
But they will be backing themselves to make their way into the Super League stage and have coaching maestro Anthony Clark on their side to guide them to a first title since 2010, a team which featured the likes of Josh Hazlewood, Adam Zampa and captain, Mitch Marsh.
Australia men's U19 World Cup squad:
Cooper Connolly (C), Harkirat Bajwa, Aidan Cahill, Joshua Garner, Isaac Higgins, Campbell Kellaway, Corey Miller, Jack Nisbet, Nivethan Radhakrishnan, William Salzmann, Lachlan Shaw, Jackson Sinfield, Tobias Snell, Tom Whitney, Teague Wyllie
Australia's U19 World Cup Fixtures:
January 14: v West Indies, Guyana National Stadium
January 17: v Sri Lanka, Conaree Cricket Centre
January 19: v Scotland, Conaree Cricket Centre
Finals: from January 26 to February 6