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Experienced Lankan team leaves for ICC u-19 World Cup

by Chris Dhambarage

The fourteen member Sri Lanka under 19 team led by dynamic all rounder Farveez Maharoof left the island early this morning to participate in the ICC Youth World Cup to be held from February 14 to March 5 in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka have been drawn in the top half and their three league round Group 'A' matches will be on February 15 against Zimbabwe at Bogra District Stadium, February 18 against Australia also at Bogra District Stadium and on February 20 against Canada at Rajshahi Divisional Stadium.

The tournament starts on February 14 with the hosts Bangladesh taking on New Zealand at Bangabandhu Stadium, which would also host the final on March 6, 2004 and also the two super league semi-finals on February 29 and March 3.

The Lankans will be fielding an experienced team with most of the players having represented their country in the under 15, 17 and in some of the youth tours during the last couple of years.

In addition they had a good preparation where they featured in a limited overs series against the West Indies under 19 team. The Lankans put up a fine performance to square the four match series two all.

But they are certain to receive stiff opposition from the defending champions Australia and Zimbabwe when the tournament begins on February 14. They need to win at least two games from their group to qualify into the second round and for the super league competition.

The sixteen teams have been drawn into four groups to play each other within their group on a 'quarter league' qualifying round. The tournament format will be identical to that which was used for the last ICC Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand.

Besides the two stadia used for the Group 'A' matches, six other grounds in Bangladesh will be used to stage the 2004 Under-19 World Cup matches. They are Chittagong Divisional Stadium, M.A. Aziz Stadium, Fatullah Cricket Stadium, Bangladesh Krica Shikha Protistan, Khulna Divisional Stadium and the main Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital Dhaka.

There will be a total of 24 preliminary round matches under four groups after the teams were drawn on their rankings.

Top two teams of each of the four groups will qualify for the Super League final round while the balance will play in the consolation plate championship.

Each team in both of the super leagues will play the other three teams in the group. Similarly, each team in both of the plate leagues will play other three teams in their group.

The top two teams in each Super league will qualify for the main Super league cup championship semi-finals. There will be reserve days allocated for all super league and plate league semi-finals and finals.

The Sri Lanka under 19 team: Farveez Maharoof (captain- Wesley), Ganganath Ratnayake (vice captain - Royal), Upul Tharanga (Dharmasoka), Nadeera Nawala (Kalutara MV), Kaushal Silva (S.Thomas'), Damindu Kularatne (Ananda), Harsha Vithana (St. Aloysius), Suraj Mohamed (Sri Rahula Matara), Sudeera de Zoysa (D. S. Senanayake), Gihan de Silva (St. Peter's), Manoj Chanaka (Royal Panadura), Kosala Kulasekera (Vidyartha), Angelo Mathews (St. Joseph's), Vidhyesh Balasubramaniam. Officials: Somachandra de Silva (coach), Ashley de Silva (manager), Rohana de Silva (Sri Lanka Schools Representative) and Ranjith Nanayakkarawasam (physiotherapist).

The Groupings:

Group 'A': Australia, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada

Group 'B': South Africa, England, Nepal Uganda

Group 'C': India, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Kenya

Group 'D': West Indies, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Ireland

Match venues:

RDVS - Rajshahi Divisional Stadium BDS - Bogra District Stadium CDVS - Chittagong Divisional Stadium MAAS - M.A.Aziz Stadium BNS - Bangabandhu National Stadium FCS - Fatullah Cricket Stadium BKSP - Bangladesh Krica Shikha Protistan KDVS - Khulna Divisional Stadium

The draw: Preliminary round

Feb. 14: Bangladesh v New Zealand at BNS

Feb. 15: Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe at BDS India v Kenya at BNS West Indies v European at KDVS

Feb. 16: Australia v Canada at RDVS England v Nepal at MAAS Bangladesh v Kenya at BKSP Pakistan v Papua New Guinea at KDVS

Feb.17: Zimbabwe v Canada at RDVS South Africa v Uganda at CDVS, India v New Zealand at BNS

Feb.18: Australia v Sri Lanka at BDS, England v Uganda at MAAS, New Zealand v Kenya at FCS, West Indies v Pakistan at KDVS

Feb.19: Australia v Zimbabwe at BDS, England v South Africa at CDVS, India v Bangladesh at BNS, Pakistan v Ireland at KDVS

Feb.20: Sri Lanka v Canada at RDVS, South Africa v Nepal at MAAS, West Indies v Papua New Guinea at KDVS

Super league final round:

Feb.22: 1A v 2D, 1C v 2B

Feb.23: 1D v 2A, 1B v 2C

Feb.24: 1A v 2B, 1C v 2 D

Feb.25: 1B v 2A, 1D v 2C

Feb.26: 1A v 1C, 2B v 2D

Feb.27: 1B v 1D, 2A v 2C

Semi finals: Feb. 29 and Mar. 3 at BNS, Dhaka

Final: Mar.6: at BNS, Dhaka.

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