The International Cricket Council (ICC) has shifted the ICC U-19 Cricket World Cup 2024 from Sri Lanka to South Africa following the suspension of the Sri Lanka cricket board due to government interference. Despite discussions during the ICC meeting in Ahmedabad, the ban on Sri Lanka’s cricket (SLC) board remained in place, prompting the shift of the tournament to South Africa.
The ICC maintained its stance on suspending the SLC, resulting in the loss of hosting rights despite cricket within Sri Lanka continuing unaffected. During the ongoing meeting in Ahmedabad, the ICC remained resolute in maintaining the suspension of SLC, affecting the hosting rights. Despite this, cricket activities within Sri Lanka will continue as per the ICC’s decision. SLC’s chief Silva assured that the team will participate in the relocated World Cup event in South Africa. “I have requested the ICC board to allow the game to continue and the members have upheld our request,” Shammi Silva said as per a Cricbuzz report.
The ICC suspended Sri Lanka when the sports minister, Roshan Ranasinghe, dismissed the national cricket board due to the team’s disappointing performance in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. As a replacement, Arjuna Ranatunga was named interim chairman of the board. However, Sri Lanka’s Court of Appeals reinstated the original board.
Scheduled between January 14 and February 15, the Under-19 World Cup coincides with the second edition of SA20, slated between January 10 and February 10. CSA remains confident in successfully hosting both events in South Africa. Although Oman and UAE were considered as alternative venues for the U-19 World Cup, South Africa was favoured due to superior infrastructure.
Under-19 World Cup Likely To Coincide With SA20
South Africa notably staged the inaugural Women’s U-19 World Cup in 2023 and the men’s U-19 World Cup in 2020. The anticipated venues for the 2024 edition are expected to be the same as those used in the women’s competition earlier in the year, namely two venues in Benoni (Willowmoore Park A and B) and two in Potchefstroom (Absa Puk Oval and Senwes Park). Initially scheduled for January 13 to February 4 in Sri Lanka, the tournament is likely to maintain a similar timeframe.
However, this coincides with South Africa’s SA20 franchise competition, occurring between January 10 and February 10, posing a scheduling clash for fans. Notably, the four venues in Benoni and Potchefstroom won’t be hosting any SA20 games during this period.