U19 Cricket World Cup returns to SA after ICC strips Sri Lanka of hosting rights
Sri Lanka’s loss is South Africa’s gain as the island’s cricket upheavals have gifted South Africa a third opportunity to host the Under-19 World Cup.
South Africa hosted the tournament in 1998 and 2020, but after the outcomes of an International Cricket Council board meeting on Tuesday that lifted Sri Lanka cricket’s suspension enough for them to participate in bilateral and ICC events, SA received its third bite at the hosting cherry.
The tournament is set to take place from 13 January to 4 February, meaning it will run concurrently with the SA20 (10 January to 10 February), which will invalidate South Africa's six main grounds in Durban, Johannesburg, Cape Town, Gqeberha, Centurion, and Paarl.
However, grounds like Benoni, Potchefstroom, Kimberley and Bloemfontein, who all hosted Under-19 World Cup games three years ago, become viable playing options.
Benoni and Potchefstroom were the host venues for the Women’s T20 Under-19 World Cup, while the JB Marks Oval hosted the 2020 Under-19 World Cup final, which was amazingly won by Bangladesh against India in what was a memorable game.
The Under-19 World Cup will now form part of the build-up to the 2027 men's 50-over World Cup that will be hosted by South Africa alongside Zimbabwe and Namibia, with South Africa returning to the front line of hosting ICC events.
South Africa successfully hosted the Women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year, which also ran slightly concurrently with the inaugural SA20.
The early part of the SA20 was held in Cape Town, Paarl, and Gqeberha to ensure the grounds were cleared for the Women’s T20 World Cup, where South Africa ended runners-up up to Australia.
The change in venue provides the South African team, which last won in 2014 in the United Arab