Nepal face Kiwis in opener

Kathmandu, December 7

Nepal will open their ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup campaign with a match against New Zealand at Fatullah, Bangladesh on January 28.

The tournament will begin on January 27 with 16 teams 10 Test playing nations and six Associate and Affiliate Member sides Nepal, Afghanistan, Canada, Fiji, Namibia, and Scotland vying for the youth World Cup title in Bangladesh.

The six qualifiers joined the 10 Test playing nations in the World Cup through regional and global qualifying tournament.

The 16 teams have been divided into four groups. Nepal are in Group D along with India, New Zealand and Australia. South Africa, Bangladesh, Scotland and Namibia are in Group A, while Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Canada are in Group B. England, the West Indies, Zimbabwe and Fiji are in Group C.

Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar, Dhaka and Sylhet will host 48 matches of the 19-day tournament, which will begin with the match between defending champions South Africa and hosts Bangladesh in Chittagong.

After the New Zealand match, Nepal will face Australia on January 30, before playing against India in Mirpur on February 1. Top two teams from all the four teams will advance to the Super League from February 5, while the bottom eight teams will fight for Plate Championship from February 4.

The Plate Championship final will be played on February 12, whereas the Super League final will be held on February 14. Before the tournament, all the participating teams will play two practice matches.

Nepal will face Pakistan on January 23 and take on Sri Lanka two days later. Nepal qualified for the U-19 World Cup for the seventh time when they won the global qualifiers held in Malaysia in October.

Nepal, who had qualified for five consecutive editions from 2000-2008 and in 2012, failed to make it to the Finals in 2010 and 2014.

Nepal had entered the Super League round in 2000 edition in New Zealand and won the Plate Championship beating the Black Caps in 2006 in Sri Lanka.