Canada Under-19’s participated in the opening ceremonies at the Hagley Oval, Christchurch New Zealand on Sunday (January 7) for the 2018 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup prior to playing two warm-up games this week before the competition proper begins on January 13.
Canada qualified for the tournament by winning the ICC Americas Qualifier in July 2017; a double round-robin event involved Bermuda U19s, Canada U19s and USA U19s. Canada came from behind after an opening game loss against the USA to top the standings on net run rate after beating the USA in the closing game at Toronto Cricket Club.
This week Canada U19s has warm-up matches against Kenya U19s (January 9) and Ireland U19s (January 11) before the tournament officially opens on January 13.
Canada is drawn in Group C together with England, Bangladesh and Namibia. England and Bangladesh qualify as full members of the ICC. Namibia qualified as the highest placed ICC Associate country in the 2016 ICC U19 Cricket World Cup C hosted by Bangladesh and won by the West Indies. Canada placed 15th in the 2016 tournament.
Canada U19s faces Bangladesh on January 15, Namibia on January 18 and England on January 20.
The three other groups in the 2018 ICC U19 CWC are:
Group A: West Indies, New Zealand, South Africa and Kenya;
Group B: Australia, India, Papua New Guinea and Zimbabwe; and
Group D: Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Ireland.
The top two teams in each group advance to the Super Eight quarter finals. The lower two teams in the group compete in the Plate competition to decide the lower placings. The final is scheduled for February 3, 2018 at Tauranga.
The Canadian squad gathered at Yashi Sports, Toronto just after Christmas for three days of indoor fitness and net sessions before flying to Sydney, Australia for outdoor preparations. Canada’s stay in Sydney included three practice games. Canada U19s lost to a New South Wales U19 XI on January 4 and to Kenya U19s on January 6.
Indoor net and fitness sessions had been taking place in Toronto since the outdoor season ended.
Canada’s success in the ICC Americas Under-19 Championship resulted in the Canadian players participating as ICC Americas Under-19s in the West Indies Regional Under-19 One Day Championships in St. Kitts. A tournament that took place in August 2017.
ICC Americas U19s beat the Leeward Islands U19s (by 15 runs) and Barbados U19s (by 48 runs) but lost to Guyana U19s (by 148 runs) Jamaica U19s (by 4 wickets), Trinidad & Tobago U19s (by 9 wickets) and Windward Islands U19s (by 50 runs).