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The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday announced the schedule for the upcoming Under-19 World Cup to be held from January 13 to February 3, 2018, in New Zealand.

The tournament will be played amongst 16 teams, with the West Indies — the last instalment's champions — opening the tournament in a day-night fixture against hosts New Zealand on January 13.

Pakistan will have to prove their mettle against Afghanistan in the first Group D match on the opening day of the tournament.

The top two sides from each of the four groups will go onto the Super League, whereas the remaining teams will participate in the plate championship.

ICC’s Test playing nations automatically gained qualification into the tournament, while Namibia joined them based on their high-class performance in the last edition of the tournament.

The 16 teams playing the tournament have been divided into four groups, with the breakup as follows:

Group A

  • New Zealand
  • West Indies
  • South Africa
  • Kenya

Group B

  • India
  • Australia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Papua New Guinea

Group C

  • England
  • Bangladesh
  • Canada
  • Namibia

Group D

  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Afghanistan
  • Ireland