Offering a sneak preview of tomorrow?s top cricketers

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand -- A worldwide audience of millions is expected to watch defending champion India take on Afghanistan in the opening match of the ICC U19 ICC Cricket World Cup (U19 CWC) 2010 in New Zealand on 15 January 2010.

ICC’s official broadcast partner and host broadcaster ESPN STAR Sports will be taking coverage of the tournament, via its licensees, to a huge global audience with live broadcasts from all 10 matches to be played at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Christchurch, during the 16-day event.

The 2010 tournament marks the second time that ESPN STAR Sports’ cameras, commentary team and world-class production have covered the U19 CWC. The potential reach for the event will outstrip any of the previous U19 World Cups, with the televised matches to be available in more than 100 countries and territories worldwide.

The 10 matches in the broadcast schedule include both semi-finals and the final, plus one of the leading ties of the group stage, as the holders India face England on 21 January 2010.

Other matches to be televised in the group stages include England v Hong Kong (16 January), Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe (17 January), and New Zealand v Zimbabwe (19 January).

ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said the scope of the worldwide broadcast coverage reflected the importance of the tournament.

“This event is the premier showcase for youth cricket worldwide and it is appropriate that we have such a comprehensive broadcast schedule in place,” said Mr Lorgat.

“The ICC is delighted to be working with our broadcast partner ESPN STAR Sports to ensure as much of the worldwide cricket family as possible can see the exciting cricket that will be on offer in New Zealand next month.”

Manu Sawhney, managing director of ESPN STAR Sports said: “The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup is a premier event that brings together all the budding international talent around the world.

“As ICC’s global partner, we are committed to showcasing this talent and the exciting action of the tournament in all its glory to millions of cricket aficionados across the world as we work with our partners in taking the game of cricket to new markets and new audiences.”

ESPN STAR Sports and its licensees will service cricket’s traditional heartlands in south Asia, England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies  and the coverage will also be seen across the continents of Africa, throughout the Middle East, USA and Canada.

In addition to this, ESPN STAR Sports will stream the games live on its website, www.espnstar.com. This ensures the tournament will have a reach of more than 200 territories and can be viewed in mainland Europe and South America.

ESPN STAR Sports has also assembled a talented international commentary team for the tournament, including former New Zealand internationals Simon Doull and Ian Smith, former Indian batsman Sanjay Manjrekar, man of the match from Pakistan’s World Cup win in 1992 Wasim Akram, and former Zimbabwe skipper Alistair Campbell.

Doull said coverage of the tournament would give cricket fans around the globe a glimpse of some of the future stars of the game.

“This is an exciting time for these young cricketers,” he said. “It’s a chance for the next generation of players to put themselves on the world stage. Many of the players we’ll be seeing here are only a short step away from the international big time – I’m sure viewers will see some outstanding talent.”

Broadcast Schedule:
All matches at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, Lincoln

15 Jan – India v Afghanistan
16 Jan – England v Hong Kong
17 Jan – Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe
19 Jan – New Zealand v Zimbabwe
21 Jan – India v England
23 Jan – Super League Quarter-Final 4
24 Jan – Super League Quarter-Final 2
25 Jan – Super League Semi-Final 1
27 Jan – Super League Semi-Final 2
30 Jan – Super League Final
 
About the U19 CWC 2010

This 16-team tournament, which is seen as an important breeding ground for the next generation of senior international cricketers, will take place in New Zealand from 15 to 30 January 2010.

Defending champion India will open its campaign against qualifier Afghanistan in front of the ESPN STAR Sports cameras at Bert Sutcliffe Oval, near Christchurch, on the opening day of the competition with Pakistan facing the West Indies in Palmerston North and 2008 beaten finalist South Africa taking on Ireland in Queenstown.

The 16 teams are split into four groups with Groups A and C being based in and around Christchurch, Group B teams playing their matches in Queenstown and Group D games taking place in Napier and Palmerston North.
 
A full match schedule for the tournament is available at
http://icc-cricket.yahoo.net/events_and_awards/u19/fixtures.php