Under-19 World Cup 2012 August 10, 2012

Home advantage with defending champions Australia

ESPNcricinfo staff

Defending champions Australia will take on England at Townsville's Tony Ireland Stadium on Saturday to kickstart the latest edition of the Under-19 World Cup, in Queensland. On the same day, two-time former champions Pakistan play Afghanistan at John Blanck Oval on the Sunshine Coast, while Bangladesh and Sri Lanka face each other at Townsville's Endeavour Park. At the Allan Border Field in Brisbane, Zimbabwe play Papua New Guinea.

The biennial competition features 16 teams, including the 10 Full Members of the ICC and six qualifiers (Afghanistan, Ireland, Namibia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Scotland). The teams are divided into four groups of four each, with the top two from each group qualifying for the quarter-finals. The bottom two from each group will compete in the Plate Championship. The grand final will be played at Tony Ireland Stadium on August 26.

Australia captain William Bosisto said his side cannot expect an easy journey, despite playing at home. Australia have won the tournament a record three times. "I wouldn't necessarily say that Australia is a firm favourite in any way," Bosisto said. "I think we see ourselves as having a very good chance to win the title, and hopefully we can do everything in our power to do that. But I know there will be many strong sides from the subcontinent, and obviously England, so we know there is a lot of tough competition out there."

England last won the title in 1998, under Owais Shah, and the captain Adam Ball said consistency is the key.

"It is definitely time for England to add to that previous success," Ball said. "It will be very tough for us to repeat that but I feel the team has what it takes to do so. I think Australia have to be one of the favourites as they are playing in their own country and have won the tournament several times before. I also think that Pakistan will be a very hard team to beat even in conditions that may not favour them."

Pakistan captain Babar Azam said his team's chances will depend on how soon they adapt to the conditions.

"I think we are one of the tournament favourites as we bat deep, have a couple of good allrounders and also possess a few quality fast bowlers and spinners in the side," Azam said. "Moreover, our recent performance at the international level is encouraging so I think our team could be termed as favourites alongside some other teams. However, it will all depend on how quickly we adjust to the conditions in Australia. We all know that pitches and outfields in Australia are very hard and there is extra bounce on the pitches."

South Africa have never won the tournament, though they came close in 2008 in Malaysia, finishing as the runners-up. They open their campaign on Sunday, against Bangladesh.

"This squad has been on a two-year progression plan for this event," the captain Chad Bowes said. "We have arrived in Australia to play good, solid cricket and we believe that we have the potential to be the first South Africa side to win the U-19 World Cup."

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  • Dummy4 on August 12, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    All Australian I don't know to thank you , but i realy felt happy when I saw Australian are agree to play ODI with Afghanistan cricket team,

    thanks Once again for giving us chance to play against you .

  • Wicky on August 11, 2012, 12:48 GMT

    @Great Aussie,yup bt aftr eliminatng ovrhypd aussies

  • Dummy4 on August 11, 2012, 5:36 GMT

    Why are all of the PNG players 20 in an u19s comp ?

  • Dummy4 on August 11, 2012, 5:16 GMT


  • Dummy4 on August 11, 2012, 1:52 GMT

    The U19 World Cup: the first chance you have of seeing future test stars in action, and last chance of seeing some South Africans play for South Africa, before they play for England...

  • Dummy4 on August 10, 2012, 23:41 GMT

    What favorite Australia? They just lost to Pak-19 like thrashed in the two games they lost. I think Pak-19 has a very good chance to win since they have just won a series against the so called favorite Australia in Australia. And are in good nick got the best fast bowler in the line-up Zia ul Haq watch out for him people.

  • Dummy4 on August 10, 2012, 22:06 GMT

    IndnCrktfan: brother or sister whatever u were lets not discussed such things for ur info India has also won in SL & Malaysia.... anyway I love to see Indian junior players I'm 36 and have been seeing last 4 or 5 world-cups India Pakistan dominating just few mistakes which Australia took liberty though we need to understand that its grass root level of International Cricket even Nepal can do their best ... anyway best of luck all teams specially Asian teams...

  • Peter on August 10, 2012, 22:01 GMT

    @ cricfan_99. Having seen & played cricket in Malaysia, let me assure you, the pitches are nothing like any Aussie or English pitch I have ever seen, & from my observations of Indian pitches, is probably closer to theirs than any other country I have seen. Having not seen or been to Sri Lanka (yet) these may be more similar to Malaysia, but certainly, Malay conditions are much closer to sub continent than any other.I will also add, that the area where the U19 matches are played on the Gold Coast are also unique, so not sure what to expect as they all vary so much there, ground by ground. And none of the Aussies have played on these grounds either (apart form the practice matches vs. Pakistan).

  • Subash on August 10, 2012, 21:26 GMT

    @Talha: What is ur prblm. Pak U19 won when the tournament was held in SL and BNG. last I check both SL and BNG are in the sub continent. India won in SL and MAL..so check b4 u comment.. I guess u guys cannot sleep if you don't say a word or two agnst IND... Just like every country supporter is cheering for his/herrespective countries, so r we....get ovr it.

  • Sheik on August 10, 2012, 20:46 GMT

    Hmmm.. Interesting to see some comments saying india can win world cups only on sub continent tracks - the last we won (2008) was in malaysia(have to check my geography books to find whether malaysia falls in sub continent!!!)... And if winning in the subcontinent is so easy when was the last time Aus,Eng or for that matter SAF won the U 19 world cup in the sub continent??? Answer= 0.... Go team india - make us proud..Bleed Blue!!!

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