England Under-19 World Cup will be watched by millions

Friday 8th January 2010

By Charles Randall

THE England versus India group match in the ICC Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand this month is expected to attract a global television audience of millions through rights holders ESPN Star Sports.

The ICC have disclosed that this final game of the pool stage, scheduled for Christchurch on January 21, will be one of 10 matches in the tournament to be broadcast live, all from the Bert Sutcliffe Oval at Lincoln University. England’s modest opening match against Hong Kong on Jan 15 is first on the list, and their clash with defending champions India is bound to attract huge audiences on the subcontinent, even if there is only relatively small interest in the UK.

Televised matches are to be made available to more than 100 countries and territories, a schedule that includes the final on Jan 30. England have reached only one final — their champions year of 1998 under Owais Shah.

The ICC’s 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," he said.

Manu Sawhney, managing director of ESPN, said: "The ICC Under-19 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."

The commentary team is to include Simon Doull, Ian Smith, Sanjay Manjrekar, Wasim Akram and former Zimbabwe captain Alistair Campbell.

In addition to television, ESPN are to stream games live on its website www.espnstar.com.

Broadcast schedule (Lincoln University, Christchurch)

January 15: India v Afghanistan. 16: England v Hong Kong. 17: Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe. 19: New Zealand v Zimbabwe. 21: India v England. 23: Quarter-final. 24: Quarter-final. 25: Semi-final. 27: Semi-final. 30: Final.

Azeem Rafiq (Yorks, captain), Adam Ball (Kent), Michael Bates (Hants), Paul Best (Warwicks), Danny Briggs (Hants), Nathan Buck (Leics), Jos Buttler (Somerset), Chris Dent (Gloucs), Matthew Dunn (Surrey), Ateeq Javid (Warwicks), Jack Manuel (Worcs), David Payne (Gloucs), Joe Root (Yorks), Ben Stokes (Durham), James Vince (Hants).

Coach: Mark Robinson (Sussex)