After the drama which unfolded in the recently concluded U19s qualifiers for the African region where hosts Kenya pulled of a sensational last day victory over Uganda to earn their spot for New Zealand 2018, all eyes will now be on Singapore who will host the ICC U19 CWC 2018 Division 1 – Asia. Afghanistan, Malaysia, Nepal and Singapore will go head to head in a round robin format, playing one another twice to book the sole Asian associate berth for New Zealand.
Singapore and the Malaysia U19s side have had a long road getting to these Division 1 qualifiers after having first competed in the ICC Asia CWC U19s Division 2 Qualifiers which were held in Malaysia in September 2016. Both South East Asian nations overcame the odds by qualifying for the finals of that event while casting aside the more fancied contenders like Hong Kong and the UAE. This paved the way for Singapore and Malaysia to participate in the prestigious Youth Asia Cup in December 2016 and test themselves against their peers from the test playing quartet of India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka while also getting a taste of competition against fellow Associates Afghanistan and Nepal.
Malaysia only ever qualified for the U19s Cricket World Cup in 2008 when they were allowed to compete on the grounds that they were the host nation while Singapore has never qualified for the event since its inception in 1998
Having been an Asian associate powerhouse in the region for some time, Nepal is no stranger to the U19s World Cup having qualified almost habitually for the event a total of seven times since 2000 and impressively winning half of their 43 matches collectively during that time. Nepal has had best final placings in the U19s World Cup of 8th place in 2000 and 2016 respectively.
The recent emergence of Afghan cricket has seen the nation qualify for the prestigious U19s event a total of four times since their debut appearance in 2010. Afghanistan has also performed admirably winning 11 of their 24 matches and interestingly had their best ever final placing of 7th in the 2014 edition. With the recent news of Afghanistan being granted Full Member status with the ICC, this should buoy the team to push for qualification as a rite of passage.
The Singapore Cricket Club and the Singapore Indian Association, two iconic clubs in Singapore will host the matches for these qualifiers which will begin on the 17th of July till the 25th of July 2017. While the odds might be against the two South East Asian minnows in Malaysia and Singapore, age group cricket has been known to throw up many David versus Goliath moments. With Nepal and Afghanistan going throat to throat for the exclusive spot in the U19s World Cup, should set this qualifier a light with some very entertaining cricket.
Naveen Ul Haq Murid (C), Imran Mohammadi, Sham Ur Rahman Wali Khail, Tariq Stani-kzai, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveed Obaid, Darwish Abdul Rasool, Waqarullah Ishaq, Ibrahim Zadran, Naveed Obaid, Ikram Ali Khil, Zaheer KhanPakteen, Said Bahir Shah Mahbob, Wafadar Momand, Yosuf Zazi
Virandeep Singh (C), Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak, Shauvinder Singh, Muhd Hasif Norhaizan, Saifullah Malik, VishvarubenKumar, Muhamad Naim Nazley, Muhamad Solihin Mohd Rusli, Muhamad Hafiz Mohd Khair, Muhammad Amir Azim AbdShukor, Ainool Haqqiem Md Yatim, Ammar Zuhdi Hazalan, Hafizuddin Abdul Ghafar, Haiqal Mohd Khair
Sandeep Lamichhane (C), Dipendra Singh Airee, Sandeep Sunar, Anil Kumar Sah, Pawan Sarraf, Kishor Mahato, RohitKumar Paudel, Adil Khan, Mahamad Asif Sheikh, Prakash KC, Pranit Thapa Magar, Lalit Narayan Rajbanshi, RijanDhakal, Shahab Alam
Janak Prakash (C), Ansh Bhargava, Aahan Gopinath Achar, Rohan Rangarajan, Aryaman Sunil Uchil, Brigu Iyer, HanshulDeep Singhania, Suyash Sachin Kanthale, Anirudh Harikrishnan Chalapathy, Sidhant, Sean Aggarwal, Bir Bikram Biswasray, Aman Desai, Yuvraj Singh
|Dates||Day||Time||Indian Association Ground||Singapore Cricket Club|
|17th July||Monday||Day 3||9.30 AM||Afghanistan vs Malaysia||Nepal vs Singapore|
|18th July||Tuesday||Day 4||9.30 AM||Singapore vs Afghanistan||Nepal vs Malaysia|
|19th July||Wednesday||Day 5||9.30 AM||Rest Day / Reserve Day|
|20th July||Thursday||Day 6||9.30 AM||Malaysia vs Singapore||Nepal vs Afghanistan|
|21st July||Friday||Day 7||9.30 AM||Nepal vs Singapore||Afghanistan vs Malaysia|
|22nd July||Saturday||Day 8||9.30 AM||Rest Day / Reserve Day|
|23rd July||Sunday||Day 9||9.30 AM||Rest Day / Reserve Day|
|24th July||Monday||Day 10||9.30 AM||Nepal vs Malaysia||Singapore vs Afghanistan|
|25th July||Tuesday||Day 11||9.30 AM||Nepal vs Afghanistan||Malaysia vs Singapore|
|26th July||Wednesday||Day 12||9.30 AM||Depart|
-ICC Media Release