Millennium Post

India to take on Ireland in U-19 WC opener

Three-time champions India will open their campaign against Ireland in Group D when the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup gets underway in Bangladesh from January 27 to February 14.

India and New Zealand are favoured to take the top two positions in Group D ahead of Ireland and Nepal.

The biennial 16-nation tournament features nine Test-playing nations and seven Associate and Affiliate Members -- Afghanistan, Canada, Fiji, Namibia, Nepal, Ireland and Scotland.

Teams have been divided into four groups with the top two in each advancing to the Super League quarter-finals and the other two qualifying for the Plate Championships.

India, coached by batting great Rahul Dravid, features high among the top contenders to bag the trophy which it has previously won in 2000, 2008 and 2012. India failed to defend the title two years ago in the United Arab Emirates after England stunned it in the quarter-finals.

India arrived in Bangladesh on Wednesday with a power-packed batting line-up that includes Sarfaraz Khan, a bright young batsmen who turns out for Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League.

Sarfaraz joins Ricky Bhui and Avesh Khan for their second appearance in the premier age-group tournament, having also participated in 2014. Another batsman that will be noticed in Bangladesh is Armaan Jaffer, nephew of former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer.
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