Afghanistan’s warm-up matches ahead of the upcoming ICC Men’s Under 19 Cricket World Cup have been cancelled due to ‘delay in obtaining visas’, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced.
The global cricket governing body also announced that the warm-up matches for England and the UAE have been rescheduled.
Notably, the Afghanistan squad is yet to arrive in the West Indies, the venue for the showpiece event, due to delays in obtaining the necessary visas. The ICC further said that discussions attempting to resolve the issue are on.
The global body for also provided an update on the warm-up matches for England and the UAE saying: “The warm-up matches in St Kitts and Nevis against England at Warner Park on 10 January (tomorrow) and the 12 January fixture against the UAE at St Paul’s have both been cancelled. England will now play UAE at Conaree Cricket Centre on 11 January.”
“We have been working together with the Afghanistan Cricket Board and relevant stakeholders to try and find a resolution to the problem and allow the team to travel. In the meantime, we have rescheduled the warm-up fixtures to ensure the teams in the region are able to continue their preparation ahead of the start of the tournament on 14 January,’ said Chris Tetley, ICC Head of Events in a statement.
Notably, the upcoming ICC Men’s Under 19 Cricket World Cup will be the seventh time when Afghanistan will participate in the event and thier best-ever finish in the t0urnament came in the 2018 edition in New Zealand, where they reached the semi-finals before going down to Australia.
In the upcoming edition of the showpiece tournament, which is slated to begin from January 14, Afghanistan are placed in Group C alongside Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Papua New Guinea.
A total of 16 teams are scheduled to compete in 48 matches over 22 days, with the final to be played on February 5.
Earlier, the New Zealand Under-19 team had decided to withdraw from the upcoming edition due to mandatory quarantine restrictions for minors they would have faced upon return from the tournament.
The Black Caps were then replaced by Scotland in competitive Group D, which also features hosts West Indies, Australia and Sri Lanka.
The upcoming event will be played in the Caribbean for the first time in its 14-edition history and will begin with a contest between hosts West Indies and Australia on January 14. The final of the showpiece event will be held on February 5.
Defending champions Bangladesh is placed in Group A alongside England, Canada and UAE while four-time champions India, one of the most successful team in the event’s history, are placed with South Africa, Ireland and Uganda in Group B.
Afghanistan, Pakistan, PNG and Zimbabwe compose Group C.
As per the schedule, the tournament will be held across 10 venues in four countries – Antigua and Barbuda, Guyana, St Kitts and Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago.