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With the Under-19 World Cup in Malaysia barely seven months away, three likely contenders face-off in a tri-nation U-19 one-day tournament in Colombo in preparation for the big event.
The seven-match tournament from July 19-28 involves India, Bangladesh and hosts Sri Lanka and the U-19 World Cup rules will be applied. Bandula Warnapura, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) director of operations, stated that all players participating in this tournament are eligible to play in the World Cup and that it will feature coloured clothing, white balls and match referees.
"There is no sponsor for the tournament and there is no prize money or any trophies for the winner," Warnapura said. "The entire cost of running the tournament will be borne by Sri Lanka Cricket. All the matches will be day games."
Lalchand Rajput, the former Indian Test opener and Indian U-19 coach said that a tournament of this nature was the right impetus before a World Cup. "Playing away from home makes the countries very competitive," he said. "It's very good to test ourselves against Asian opposition in conditions similar to what we may experience in Malaysia."
Nazmul Abdeen, the Bangladesh coach-cum-manager said, "This is the first time we are playing in a proper competition. It is a tremendous opportunity for us playing against two good sides like India and Sri Lanka. It gives us the opportunity to be well prepared for the World Cup."
Addressing a media briefing to launch the tournament at the SLC headquarters on Monday, Duleep Mendis, the board's chief executive, highlighted the importance of this tournament for launching the careers of several young cricketers.
The series takes off with Sri Lanka playing Bangladesh on July 19. India's first match of the tournament will be against Sri Lanka the following day. The final is scheduled for July 28.
India: Tanmay Srivastava (capt), Ravi Jadeja, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Saurabh Tiwari, Shreevats Goswami, Pradeep Sangwan, Harshad Khadiwale, Abhinav Mukund, Abu Nechim Ahmed, Iqbal Abdullah, GVS Prasad, Shrikant Munde, Amanpreet Singh, KP Appanna
Sri Lanka: Sachith Pathirana (capt), Roshane Silva, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kushal Janith, Ashan Priyanjan, Tissara Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Perera, Shameera Weerasinghe, Charith Jayampathy, Ishan Jayaratne, Ryan Kern, Imesh Udayangana, Mohamed Feshal
Bangladesh: Mohammadul Hassan (captain), Mohammad Mithun, Ifthikar Ahmed, Hamidul Islam, Raihan Anas, Zabid Hossain, Tapush Ghosh, KM Shakil, Ruben Talukder, Nasir Hossain, Ashraful Islam, Ariful Haq, Shuvashish Roy, Rubel Hossain, Syed Gulam Kibria