Cricket Australia (CA) on Friday announced in an official media release that more international cricket will be heading to the Top End, with the Northern Territory set to host an Under-19 International Series between Australia, India and New Zealand, beginning June 30.
Marrara Oval, Gardens Oval and Tracy Village will be host venues for the competing teams, which also includes friendly matches against Papua New Guinea.
CA's Executive General Manager Team Performance Pat Howard said the series presented a great opportunity to prepare for next year's Under-19 ICC Cricket World Cup, with the best Australian, Indian and New Zealand underage players on show.
"We are excited about this tournament, which allows us to continue to bring international cricket to the Northern Territory.
"Our Under-19 team will be keen to make up for their loss against India in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup final last year. We look forward to testing ourselves against India and New Zealand, who are always competitive at this level, and using the series as a yardstick ahead of next February's ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in Dubai.
"It is also pleasing to have Papua New Guinea play a part in this series ahead of their qualifying tournament later this year for the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup."
CA's Senior Manager Cricket Operations Sean Cary said the tournament continued CA's strong relationship with the Northern Territory and their passionate cricketing community.
"We are pleased to return to Darwin again for this year's Under-19 International Series after the Australian men's team held their camp up there last year. The Northern Territory has a proud history of hosting our annual Imparja Cup and will also welcome the English cricket team for the Chairman's XI match in Alice Springs, to be played in November this year.
"We look forward to working in partnership with Northern Territory Cricket and showcasing the excellent cricket facilities at Marrara and The Gardens, as well as the competing teams' elite skills.
"It also presents a fantastic chance for the community to cheer along their local Northern Territory Strike, when they play the third-placed team on the final day of the Series, as we continue to grow cricket in the area."
Papua New Guinea has also come on board as a friendly team in the U19 International Series in the build up to their qualification tournament, which will be held on the Sunshine Coast in July, for the next year's U19 ICC Cricket World Cup.
East Asia Pacific ICC Regional Development Manager Kieran McMillan said: "As cricket strives to be a bigger, better global game with more genuinely competitive teams on the world stage, it is critical that developing cricket nations play more matches against the Test playing members.
"PNG's involvement in this tournament is a fantastic opportunity for a country ranked 19th in the world and comes ahead of their entry into the inaugural SACA Premier League later this year, further strengthening their connection with Australian Cricket."