On Sunday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the rescheduled for the Under 19 Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2022. The West Indies will serve as the hosts for the tournament in which 33 teams will participate for five World Cup positions. The sides that will take part are Australia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies, and Zimbabwe.
The aforementioned teams will qualify by virtue of top 11 finish. As far as the remaining five spots go, those would be decided by regional qualification. The qualification for the 2022 edition of the competition got delayed by one year, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. The seven regional events, beginning in June 2021, will decide the 33 spots. The depth of strength in Africa and Asia regions, a two-division qualification pathway will take place.
The teams from other three precincts including Americas, EAP, and Europe, will have a one-division qualification process. The winner of each regional qualifier will book one of the five coveted ICC Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup in 2022. The road commences in Tanzania with the Africa division 2 in 2021. Tanzania will battle with Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Rwanda and Sierra Leone will be fighting for two spots to join Namibia, Nigeria and Uganda in the Africa Qualifier in September 2021.
The Asian region which also has two divisions will witness two qualifiers from Bhutan, Hong Kong, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Thailand in Division 2 join Malaysia, Nepal and UAE nine in the Asia Qualifier to be hosted in the United Arab Emirates with the top team qualifying for the West Indies. The top team from the remaining qualifiers East-Asia Pacific, Europe and Americas will make up the Men’s U19 Cricket World Cup line-up.
As far as the Europe goes, Scotland will host the tournament from 30 July to 5 August to compete Denmark, Guernsey, Ireland, Jersey and the Netherlands for the World Cup spot while USA will host Americas Qualifier and will be joined by Argentina, Bermuda and Canada between 18 and 25 August 2021. The EAP qualifier will consist of Indonesia, PNG, Vanuatu and hosts Japan will take place between 28 September and 4 October with the winner directly going to the West Indies.
ICC head of events explains the thought process behind the pathway:
The ICC head of events Chris Tetley explained that since the U-19 World Cup is a platform where upcoming stars establish themselves, the latest qualification pathway provides teams with opportunities to display their progress at the top level. Tetley believes that with the higher number of teams in the display, fans will witness some enthralling cricket and the upsurge of players, becoming household names in the future.
“The ICC U19 Men’s Cricket World Cup showcases the future stars of our game, with many top-class cricketers around the world having featured at this event. The qualification pathway also provides teams with the opportunity to display progression at this level, with the likes of Japan and Nigeria qualifying for the last edition of the Men’s U19 CWC for the first time ever. With 33 teams in the running for five World Cup spots, I am sure we will see a highly competitive series of events and the emergence of players that will become household names in the future,” Tetley said as quoted by ANI.