Saif Hassan-led Bangladesh will take on Namibia in their opening day match of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2018 at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Christchurch in New Zealand on Saturday.
Hosts New Zealand will take on defending champions West Indies in another opening day match-up at the Bay Oval, in Tauranga. The remaining two fixtures on the day will see Pakistan take on Afghanistan in Whangarei, and Zimbabwe face Papua New Guinea in Christchurch, reports UNB.
Ahead of the tournament, Bangladesh conceded three successive losses in five warm-up matches- two coming against New Zealand’s domestic side Otaga A, while one was abandoned before a ball could be bowled. The Young Tigers also lost their first official warm up against Afghanistan by 56 runs, while their last scheduled pre-tournament fixture against Pakistan was washed out.
Namibia made the tournament berth as the best finishing associate in the last edition of the tournament.
The Young Tigers have been pitted in Group C with Canada, Namibia and the England to play the group stage of the one-day format 16-team world event.
In their remaining group battles Bangladesh will play Canada and England on January 15 and 18 respectively. Top two teams from each group will move to the quarterfinals, starting on January 23.
Group A comprises West Indies, New Zealand, South Africa and Kenya while defending runners-up India, Australia, Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea placed in Group B. Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Asia qualifier Afghanistan and Europe qualifier Ireland completed the remaining D Group.
A total of 16 teams will compete in the tournament in seven venues -- Cobham Oval, Lincoln Green, Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Bay Oval, Queenstown Events Centre, Hagley Oval and Mainpower Oval -- of four cities -- Whangarei , Christchurch, Queenstown and Tauranga. The tournament will end on February 3 with the final at Bay Oval.
The top two sides from each group will advance to the Super League while the remaining eight teams will fight in the play-off in the plate quarterfinals.
In the previous edition of the biannual tournament in 2016, Bangladesh reached the semifinals stage and made their exit from the main race losing to West Indies by three wickets on their home soil in Mirpur. The host Bangladesh finally finished the 3rd beating Sri Lanka by three wickets in the play-off match in Fatullah.
Bangladesh U19 Squad: Saif Hassan( captain), Afif Hossain, Aminul Islam, Hasan Mahmud, Mahidul Islam Ankon, Mohammad Naim, Mohammad Rakib, Nayeem Hasan, Pinak Ghosh, Qazi Onik, Robiul Hoque, Roni Hossen, Shakil Hossain, Tipu Sultan and Towhid Hridoy.
Namibia U19 Squad: Lohan Louwrens (captain), Henry Brink, Petrus Burger, Jan-Izak de Villiers, Shaun Fouche, Jurgen Linde, Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Gerhard Lottering, Erich van Mollendorf, Dewald Nell, Mauritius Ngupita, Ben Shikongo, Floris Steenkamp, Ramon Wilmot and Eben van Wyk.