'It is massive for us to host South Africa in the opening game on Friday.'
The Diamond City will see its second consecutive weekend of excitement after the huge birthday bash that was celebrated at Tafel Lager Park on Saturday.
This weekend the action moves to the Diamond Oval where the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup kicks off with what promises to be an entertaining and exciting opening ceremony showcasing the Northern Cape and its people, starting at 8am on Friday.
The opening game of the tournament sees South Africa take on Afghanistan at 10am.
Eugene Jacobs, CEO of Northern Cape Cricket (NCC), said that the union was looking forward to hosting their guests from around the globe. “It is nearly showtime,” he said. “The teams arrive in the city from Wednesday (tomorrow). As a staff, we are ready and waiting for the games to start.
“It is massive for us to host South Africa in the opening game on Friday,” Jacobs added.
Jacobs also told the DFA that hosting the tournament meant a lot to the city and indeed the entire Province. “It is a huge honour for Northern Cape Cricket to host games in the ICC Under-19 World Cup. We hosted games during the 1998 Under-19 World Cup as well.
“The impact of this event on the economy of our city and Province will be very big” he said.
Jacobs also rolled out the welcome mat saying that everyone, without exception, should make a point of attending. “Let the stadium be filled,” he said, “so we can showcase the hospitality of the people of the Northern Cape to the world.”
Two local boys are part of the South African set-up. Andrew Louw will be doing duty as a player and Riaan Osman is the team’s manager.
The tournament runs from this Friday, January 17 to February 9. It will be the thirteenth edition of the tournament, and the second to be held in this country. A total of 16 teams will be taking part in the tournament, split into four groups of four. The top two teams from each group will advance to the Super League, with the bottom two teams in each group progressing to the Plate League. India are the defending champions.
Matches will take place at Willowmoore Park in Benoni, the JB Marks Oval, the North West University Oval, the Ibbies Oval and the Witrand Oval in Potchefstroom, and the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein. Kimberley will host matches at the Diamond Oval and at the Country Club B facilities.
Group A: India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Japan
Group B: Australia, England, West Indies and Nigeria
Group C: Pakistan, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Scotland
Group D: Afghanistan, South Africa, UAE and Canada
All matches start at 10am
Friday January 17
Diamond Oval: South Africa vs Afghanistan
Saturday January 18
Diamond Oval: Australia vs West Indies
Monday January 20
Diamond Oval: England vs West Indies
Country Club B: Australia vs Nigeria
Thursday January 23
Diamond Oval: Australia vs England
Country Club B: West Indies vs Nigeria
Saturday January 25
Diamond Oval: England vs Nigeria
Friday January 31
Diamond Oval: Plate semi-final 2 Winner PQF 2 vs Winner PQF 3.
Sunday February 2
Diamond Oval: 11th/12th play-off.