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City to host cricket world cup

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“This ICC Under-19 cricket community is an opportunity to watch the world’s best young players up close and personal.”

IN A massive boost for the city, Northern Cape Cricket has confirmed that the city will be one of the hosts for the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup in January 2020.

The event will be held in four cities – Kimberley, Benoni, Potchefstroom and Bloemfontein.

Dubbed as a tournament that showcases the world’s future cricket stars, the event is expected to attract more than a billion television viewers.

An ecstatic Northern Cape Premier, Dr Zamani Saul, pledged his support from the side of local government and promised that disadvantaged communities would also benefit.

Sol Plaatje Executive Mayor, Patrick Mabilo, added that service delivery challenges would be addressed in time for the event and discouraged residents from littering in an effort to keep the city clean.

The ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup is an international cricket tournament organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC), contested by national Under-19 teams.

The local event is expected to attract teams from 16 countries around the world.

First contested in 1988, as the Youth World Cup, it was not staged again until 1998. Since then, the World Cup has been held as a biennial event, organised by the ICC. The first edition of the tournament had only eight participants, but every subsequent edition has included sixteen teams.

As the host, South Africa will open their campaign against Afghanistan in the opening match of the 24-day tournament at the Diamond Oval in Kimberley on January 17.

The United Arab Emirates and Canada are the other teams they will have to contend with in Group D of the 16-team tournament, the final of which is scheduled for February 9.

In other matches slated over the first few days, New Zealand take on Japan who will be making their debut in an ICC global event at the North West University Oval in Potchefstroom on January 18 while defending champions India play Sri Lanka at the Mangaung Oval in Bloemfontein on 19 January.

Nigeria, who are also making their ICC event debut will face Australia in Kimberley on January 20 for their opening game.

“The Under-19 Cricket World Cup is a very important event in our calendar as it brings together the world’s most promising young players in a major ICC tournament, giving them the experience of competing on the global stage,” ICC Head of Events, Chris Tetley, was quoted as saying.

“We have some excellent venues for this tournament, and we are offering free entry to all matches, giving cricket fans in South Africa the opportunity to watch the next generation of superstars. I wish all the teams the very best in their preparations for the tournament and to Cricket South Africa in organising the event.”

Tournament director, Sivuyile Mqingwana, stated that Cricket South Africa was delighted to be hosting this prestigious event that further nurtures the stars of tomorrow.

“We look forward to hosting fans and visitors from all over the world and hope our cricketing guests and other sports tourists will enjoy both world-class cricket action, as well as the great treasures that ‘Mzansi’ has to offer.”

“This ICC Under-19 cricket community is an opportunity to watch the world’s best young players up close and personal.”

Some of the world’s best players have showcased their talent at previous editions of the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup, including top-ranked Test batsman Steve Smith, top-ranked ODI and T20I batsman Virat Kohli, England Test captain Joe Root and New Zealand captain Kane Williamson.

South Africa have seen several top players including Graeme Smith, Hashim Amla, Dean Elgar, Wayne Parnell, Quinton de Kock and Kagiso Rabada, make it big in international cricket after first catching the eye during Under-19 World Cups.

Other players who featured in past editions include Brian Lara (West Indies), Michael Atherton (England), Michael Clarke (Australia), Virender Sehwag (India), Inzamam-ul-Haq (Pakistan) and Rashid Khan (Afghanistan).

India have won the title four times, Australia three times, Pakistan twice while England, South Africa and the West Indies have won once each.

The announcement left mixed feelings among Kimberlites who also expressed their concerns around the city’s readiness for the event on Facebook. Concerns revolved around the city’s capacity to host the guests, the water crisis, power outages and cleanliness.

Carl Dennis commented: “This is fantastic news for our city. It is also great to hear that our mayor is aware and made reference to the littering epidemic in Kimberley. However, there are no public campaigns that I am aware of that will help bolster this notion. A change in mindset and a physical approach is needed from the City of Kimberley to love and respect our town and ourselves is required to win the littering battle.”

Marius Prinsloo said: “Bring it on, nice event to have. On a positive note, maybe now something will be done to bring the sparkle back to our city?”

“January 2020? One month left to clean Kimberley, and while they clean, others litter again. How are they going to fix all the potholes in one month. With what money? They don’t have any left, I hear. And what about the water issues? I don’t want to be negative but seeing is believing,” commented Renthia Brits.

Clarence Williams added: “It’s good, but just let the authorities keep the Province’s lights on, water facilities and our streets clean, and all of the useless thieves off the (streets of the) whole kimberley area.

“Congrats NC and our Premier, slowly we are moving towards strengthening the economy of the Province.”

Isaac Tumi Kgatlane said: “Eish.water problems. electricity problems. Potholes. street lights that are not functioning, emergency call centers of which some don’t pickup the calls, visibility of the police. Let us fix that including cleaning out the thugs in town and the street kids sleeping peacefully with their mattresses in the CBD (sic)”

Ciska Van Wyk-Louw: “So there is no money to fix the road, or the water system, or clean the street but they have money to entertain and host a stupid sports event that don’t mean nothing to real people that suffer without water and electricity due to incompetence? (sic)”

Groupings:

Group A:

India, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Japan

Group B:

Australia, England, West Indies, Nigeria

Group C:

Pakistan, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, Scotland