Under-19 cricket team to play England, Namibia

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The national Under-19 cricket team will play warm-up matches with England and Namibia ahead of the start of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, according to the tournament schedule and format released yesterday.

The warm-up matches will take place at Sunshine Coast and the University of Queensland on August 7 and 8 respectively ahead of Zimbabwes first match against minnows Papua New Guinea at the Endeavour Park in Townsville, Australia, on August 11.

They then meet former champions India in their second match at the Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville on August 14 before concluding the group stages against West Indies at Endeavour Park two days later.

Zimbabwe were drawn in Group C in August last year with former champions India, minnows Papua New Guinea and West Indies but the tournament schedule and format was yet to be released. The youth tournament has been set for Brisbane, Townsville and the Sunshine Coast in Australia from August 11-26.

According to the ICC, the 16 teams taking part in the tourney have been divided into four groups with the top two progressing to the Super League quarter-finals while the two bottom teams from each group battle it out for the Plate Championship quarter-finals.

The winners of the Super League quarter-finals will qualify for the semi-finals whereas the losing quarter-finalists will play in the Super League play-offs.

The winners of the Plate Championship quarter-finals will play in the Plate Championship semi-finals while the beaten quarter-finalists will participate in the Plate Championship play-offs.

National Under-19 coach Chris Harris told NewsDay Sport the warm-up matches would be crucial for his side for acclimatisation and familiarisation to Australian conditions before starting their campaign.

Its nice to note that we will have some bit of match practice before the start of the actual tournament.

It will give the boys enough time to acclimatise and get used to the conditions in Australia before the start of the tournament, said the former New Zealand all-rounder.