After an incredible 2023 season, which included us seeing the mighty Australians lift the coveted ICC ODI Cricket World Cup trophy for a record-extending sixth time, cricket lovers are already gearing up for a 2024 season that will see new and emerging talents burst onto the scene as preparations begin for the next major tournament. Kicking off the year, the ICC Under-19 World Cup will provide the first dose of action, and this edition promises not only a fresh wave of budding cricket talent but also a revamped format that adds a sprinkle of innovation to the prestigious tournament.
One major point of note: in a surprising turn of events, the ICC Board unanimously decided in November 2023 to move the 2024 Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup from Sri Lanka to South Africa. The reason for the decision was due to the ICC’s provisional suspension of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) due to extensive government interference in the board’s administration. Despite this shift, there is no need for concern about the daily cricketing landscape, as the ICC has assured that cricket at all levels, including bilateral and domestic series and tournaments, will continue without impediment.
As we edge closer to the Under-19 World Cup’s unfolding drama, the changes in format and venue are expected to inject a new dimension into the world of cricket betting. The heightened competition, especially in the Super Six stage, introduces intriguing variables for bettors to consider, and this is where recognized platforms such as Cheeky Punter become imperative to sports bettors. Cheeky Punter provides a comprehensive comparison for online cricket betting fans to use when making their betting decisions, which includes the best odds available and noteworthy changes to the competition. You can also uncover a host of expert picks and predictions, as well as exclusive promotions for the various stages of the competition.
A Look at the New Format
The upcoming Under-19 World Cup in South Africa will see a change from the familiar Plate and Super League format that we have become accustomed to from previous editions. The 2024 50-over tournament, featuring 16 nations, will unfold over 24 days, with 41 matches scheduled across five venues in South Africa. The participating teams include powerhouses like five-time winners India, reigning ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup holders Australia, and the resurgent New Zealand, making a return after missing the 2022 edition in the West Indies.
Teams will be grouped into four categories – Group A (India, Bangladesh, Ireland, USA), Group B (England, South Africa, West Indies, Scotland), Group C (Australia, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Namibia), and Group D (Afghanistan, Pakistan, New Zealand, Nepal).
Arguably, the most significant change in the format is the introduction of the Super Six stage. Following the initial group stage mentioned above, the top three teams from each group will advance to the Super Six stage. Here, the top teams from groups A and D will form one pool, while groups B and C will make up the other. Teams will carry forward their points and net run rate from the group stage against fellow Super Six qualifiers, and every team will play two matches in this stage.
When the Super Six stage draws to a close, the top two teams from each pool will earn their place in the knockout stages, featuring semi-finals and the grand final scheduled to be held in Benoni on February 11, 2024. This revamped format aims to elevate the competition’s intensity, ensuring that every match counts on the path to glory.
As in previous editions, the Under-19 Men’s Cricket World Cup 2024 will remain a traditional One Day International tournament (50 overs). The initial Group Stage will see 16 teams divided into four groups, each comprising four sides. However, the revamped format ensures a more extended shelf life for teams, with 12 remaining in contention for the title after the opening stage as opposed to the previous eight.
Will Team India be able to rise to the top again after the senior side suffered disappointment on home soil earlier this year, or will we see a new team emerge as the ones to watch over the next few years? Whichever outcome it may be, the Under-19 Cricket World Cup is expected to set the stage for an exhilarating start to the 2024 cricketing season.
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