ICC U-19 Men's World Cup 2022: Group A Preview
Ahead of the 2022 ICC Under-19 Men's Cricket World Cup that begins on January 14, here is a preview of Group A.
The 2022 ICC Under-19 Men's Cricket World Cup is set to begin on January 14 this year, with the West Indies hosting the tournament for the first time. As many as 16 teams will be in fray in the competition and record four-time champions India will be among the favourites for the title. The ICC U-19 Men's World Cup began in 1988 and has witnessed some remarkable moments, serving as the premier platform for promising youngsters to make their mark and get a taste of international action before stepping into senior cricket.
Ahead of the tournament, here is a preview of Group A:
Bangladesh sprung a surprise two years ago in South Africa as a team featuring the likes of Mahmudul Hasan Joy and Shoriful Islam - both part of the side that claimed an historic Test victory for the senior team in New Zealand this month - won the title.
They face ever-presents England, looking to secure a second title after the one they won back in 1998, as well as Canada and the United Arab Emirates.
All the games will take place in St Kitts and Nevis, which previously hosted games at the 2007 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup.
Bangladesh (13th appearance)
Over the last eight editions of the ICC U19 Men's CWC, Bangladesh have come through the first round on six occasions, culminating in the memorable overall victory two years ago in South Africa.
On that occasion, they beat India in the final, the team who have caused them the most problems at Under-19 level.
Prior to 2020, their previous best performance came in 2016 when a team captained by Mehidy Hasan Miraz finished third overall on home soil.
Captaining the side this time around is Rakibul Hasan, part of the winning team in South Africa and the left-arm spinner will be key to the team building on a strong recent record.
Canada (8th appearance)
Canada head to the West Indies to take part in a fifth successive ICC U19 Men's CWC, and an eighth overall.
The North Americans will be hoping to improve on a best previous result of 11th place, which came in 2010.
They have never made it past the first round and into the quarter-finals, and will be up against it here with the defending champions Bangladesh and England in the group.
Skipper Mihir Patel was part of the team in South Africa, including scoring 90 against fellow Group A outfit UAE in a first-round defeat that was later avenged in the play-offs.
England (14th appearance)
It has now been 24 years since England's sole ICC U19 Men's CWC victory, but the team did reach the semi-finals on the way to third place back in 2014.
Last time out, England failed to get through the first round, edged out in a group also featuring Australia and the West Indies before going on to finish ninth with three wins in the play-offs.
This year, Hampshire batter and skipper Tom Prest will be hopeful of a stronger showing for a completely new-look side coached by Richard Dawson.
The team also features Barbados-born spinner Jacob Bethell, who will hope to impress on his return to the Caribbean, as well as fellow spinner Archie Lenham, who featured regularly for Sussex across all three formats in 2021 at the age of just 17.
United Arab Emirates (3rd appearance)
The United Arab Emirates have qualified for the ICC U19 Men's CWC for the second edition running, and third overall having hosted the event in 2014.
Last time around, the UAE got the better of Canada in the first round, but then fell to the same opponent in the 13th-place play-off, so they will be a familiar rival.
Full international Alishan Sharafu, a batting all-rounder, will captain the side, having been part of the squad two years ago.
He has since gone on to represent the UAE at T20I and ODI level and will bring plenty of experience to the side as one of two returning players, along with 17-year-old wicket-keeper and opener Kai Smith, who was just 15 when he played in this event in South Africa.
Group A fixtures
15 January - Canada v UAE, Conaree Cricket Center, St Kitts and Nevis
16 January - Bangladesh v England, Warner Park Cricket Stadium, St Kitts and Nevis
18 January - England v Canada, Warner Park Cricket Stadium, St Kitts and Nevis
20 January - England v UAE, Warner Park Cricket Stadium, St Kitts and Nevis;
Bangladesh v Canada, Conaree Cricket Center, St Kitts and Nevis
22 January - Bangladesh v UAE, Warner Park Cricket Stadium, St Kitts and Nevis
(With ICC inputs)