ICC Under-19 World Cup Qualifiers, Toronto August 31, 2009

Afghanistan ruled out of Under-19 World Cup Qualifiers

Cricinfo staff

Afghanistan have been ruled out of the Under-19 World Cup Qualifiers in Toronto after failing to secure visas in time.

"This is a big blow to the Afghanistan team and it is a shame the event has been depleted in this way," said David Thorley, the ICC's tournament director. "The ICC has done everything within its power to assist in this matter but ultimately all boards are aware of their obligations in securing visas for their travelling parties to events."

Sierra Leone have also had delays with their visas. Cricinfo learnt yesterday that they submitted their applications to the wrong office of Canada's immigration department, but the ICC remains hopeful that the documents can be issued in time for the opening round. "Everything is being done in an effort to make sure that happens," the board said in a statement on Monday.

The news for Afghanistan is a bitter blow whose youngsters impressed so much in the ACC U-19 Elite Cup earlier this year, beating Nepal to reach the final.

The nine-team Under-19 Qualifiers gets underway tomorrow, a qualification tournament for the 2010 Under-19 World Cup to be staged in New Zealand.