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August 10, 2011
Queensland will host the ICC's 2012 Under-19 World Cup in August next year, with Brisbane, Townsville and the Sunshine Coast to be the primary venues for the event.
Australia hosted the inaugural edition of the Cup in 1988. The Australian team won the last tournament, in New Zealand in 2010, and can be expected to put up a stern defence on home soil.
James Sutherland, the Cricket Australia chief executive, said the tournament had proven itself as a useful stage for upcoming generations of cricket talent. He also pointed out that the event would aid Australia in its preparations for the senior edition of the World Cup, to be held down under in 2015.
The groups for the Under-19 World Cup
"The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup is the showcase event for best young cricketers in the world and is where the next Cameron White or Yuvraj Singh gets their first real taste of top-level international cricket," Sutherland said. "It was only a couple of years ago we saw Mitch Marsh captain the Australia Under-19 team to victory in New Zealand with talents such as Josh Hazlewood, Alister McDermott and Alex Keath alongside him.
"We are very grateful to Queensland Cricket and Events Queensland for their support in hosting this tournament and I think all the teams and supporters will enjoy their time in Australia's sunshine state. We are building towards hosting the senior ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015 and this tournament will play a big part in getting ready for that event," he said.
Graham Dixon, the Queensland Cricket chief executive, said the choice of the Sunshine Coast and Townsville as venues beyond Brisbane would be helpful for the development of cricket, and sporting infrastructure, in two major regional centres.
"Queensland Cricket is thrilled at the decision to bring the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup to our state, and especially with the decision to play in two important regional centres, Townsville and the Sunshine Coast, with the resulting positive economic impact on those areas," he said.
"The support of the State Government and the Events Queensland will enable Queensland to provide an international showcase around this tournament, which has grown into a significant event on the world cricket stage.
"Queensland Cricket is acutely aware that the ICC Cricket World Cup will be staged in Australia and New Zealand in 2015 and so tournaments like the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup are an important proving ground for us, and for Cricket Australia, as it gets closer to hosting that major event."
The ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat added: "This tournament has proved to be an important stepping stone for elite young cricketers aspiring to play international cricket. It's an opportunity for them to develop and test their skills in a high-pressure situation against the world's best at this level.
"We also use it as an opportunity to educate them on several important issues like anti-corruption, anti-doping and social responsibility expected of international cricketers while also exposing them to the ICC Code of Conduct and media attention."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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