U-19 World Cup: Administrative uncertainty in Sri Lanka forces ICC to move youth tournament to South Africa

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has decided to replace Sri Lanka as the host of the 2024 edition of the U-19 Cricket World Cup due to administrative uncertainty. South Africa has been chosen as the new host of the global youth tournament, scheduled to take place from January 10 to February 10 of next year. 

Photo courtesy: Free Press Journal

The development, reported by Cricbuzz, stated that the decision was unanimous, taken during the board meeting on November 21st in Ahmedabad. 

Sri Lanka fell out of favour as its cricket board is currently embroiled in administrative uncertainty after the men’s team’s poor performance in the 2023 World Cup.

On November 10th, Sri Lankan cricket touched a new low as the ICC suspended the entire cricket board due to excessive government interference. The statement issued by the apex body of the sport read:

“The ICC Board met today and determined that Sri Lanka Cricket is in serious breach of its obligations as a Member, in particular, the requirement to manage its affairs autonomously and ensure that there is no government interference in the governance, regulation and/or administration of cricket in Sri Lanka. The conditions of the suspension will be decided by the ICC Board in due course.”

Oman and UAE were considered as options

The U-19 World Cup was slated to take place between January 14th and February 15th. Despite the dates set to clash with the 2nd season of SA20, which will run from January 10th to February 10th, a top South African official remains confident of organising both events successfully.

Oman and UAE were also contenders to host the tournament, but South Africa was finalised due to better infrastructure.

SLC Chief Shammi Silva confirmed that the national team will partake in the event and stated:

“I have requested the ICC board to allow the game to continue and the members have upheld our request.”

India are the defending champions, having beaten England in the 2022 edition in the West Indies.

(The article is published under a mutual content partnership arrangement between The Free Press Journal and Connected to India)