Dubai, Dec 14 (IANS) India will open its Under-19 Cricket World Cup title defence against traditional rivals and two-time former champions Pakistan at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium (DICS) here Feb 15, 2014.
The tournament will be staged across seven venues in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from Feb 14 to March 1, and will also have teams from Afghanistan, Canada, Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Scotland and the UAE besides the 10 Full Members.
India, which also won the tournament under Mohammad Kaif and Virat Kohli in 2000 and 2008, respectively, defeated Pakistan by one-wicket in an enthralling semi-final before going on to beat Australia by six wickets in the 2012 final in Townsville, Australia.
In the 2010 event in New Zealand, Pakistan beat India in a last ball thriller in a quarter-final in Lincoln. The two sides also met in the final of the 2006 edition in Colombo where Pakistan defended a modest total of 110 to win by 39 runs.
In the 16-day tournament, 48 matches will be played across seven venues, which are: Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi; Abu Dhabi Oval 1; Abu Dhabi Oval 2; Sharjah Cricket Stadium; Dubai International Cricket Stadium, Dubai Sports City; ICC Academy Oval 1, Dubai, and ICC Academy Oval 2, Dubai.
Four matches will be played on the opening day of the tournament with 1998 winner England taking on the UAE at Zayed Cricket Stadium, Zimbabwe locking horns with Canada at Abu Dhabi Oval 1, New Zealand meeting Sri Lanka at Sharjah Cricket Stadium and South Africa taking on the West Indies at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
The format of the competition is such that the 16 teams have been divided into four groups, with the top two teams progressing to the Super League quarter-finals while the two bottom teams from each group qualify for the Plate Championship quarter-finals.
The first edition took place in 1988 when Australia were the champions before winning again in 2002 and 2010. England were the champions in 1998, India held aloft the trophy in 2000, 2008 and 2012 and Pakistan were the winners in 2004 and 2006.