Chittagong: Hosts Bangladesh will play stronger South Africa in one of the two opening day matches of the 16-team ICC Under-19 World Cup at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in the port city on Wednesday.
The Group A match between Young Tigers and Protea Youths will kick off at 9am (BST).
England Under-19 team will face Fiji Under-91 side in the other opening day’s fixture of Group C at the MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong, also at 9am.
Apart from two Chittagong venues, the Under-19 World Cup matches will be held in Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur, Khan Saheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah, Sheikh Kamal International Cricket Stadium in Cox’s Bazar, Sylhet International Stadium and Sylhet District Stadium.
In the opener on Wednesday, Bangladesh will face a stern challenge from its group mates, especially from South Africa, although Bangladesh hosted South Africa for seven one-dayers in April 2015 and came out 6-1 winners.
In a pre-match press briefing at Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong on Tuesday, Bangladesh captain Mehedy Hasan Miraz said, “We are not in pressure under the expectations of hosts crowd. We want to take this as our inspiration to play a good cricket.”
“We are playing a good cricket for the last one and half years when we won the series against South Africa. Now our morale is high and the confidence level has also increased,” he added.
Sixteen teams -- split into four groups -- are initially taking part in the World Youth Cricket.
Participating teams are:
Group A: South Africa, Bangladesh, Scotland (Q2), Namibia (Q3)
Group B: Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan (Q1), Canada (Q4)
Group C: England, West Indies, Zimbabwe, Fiji (Q5)
Group D: India, New Zealand, Nepal (Q6) and Ireland
Ireland Under-19 team took the spot of Australia, who withdrew their team from U-19 World Cup citing concerns over security in Bangladesh.
In the first round of the tournament, each team in a group will play the other teams in the group once. Each team will gain two points for a victory. After group matches, the top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super League quarterfinals while the teams finishing third and fourth will play in the Plate Championship quarterfinals.
In the Super League, the winners will qualify for the Super League semifinals while the losers will contest in the Super League play-off semifinals.
The winners of the Super League semifinals will play the final of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2016 while the losing sides will clash in the final for the third place.