ICC U19 World Cup set to become most watched event to date

ICC U19 World Cup set to become most watched event to date

ICC U19 World Cup set to become most watched event to date

The future stars of international cricket are primed to become household names as the ICC is set to produce live coverage of a record 20 matches from the Under-19 cricket World Cup in Bangladesh which, in turn, will be aired around the world by 15 broadcasters.

The live coverage will start in Chittagong tomorrow, when a worldwide audience of over a billion is expected to watch South Africa launch their title defence against hosts Bangladesh in the tournament opener.

The ICC, in line with its commitment to enhance the profile of the U-19 showpiece event, has put in place an impressive schedule that includes live broadcast coverage of all four matches from the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium (ZACS) in Chittagong, seven matches from Fatullah (including two Super League quarter-finals and five Super League play-offs) and nine matches from the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium (SBNS) in Mirpur, including four first-round matches, two quarter-finals, both the semi-finals and the February 14 final.

The 2016 tournament marks the first time that the ICC, in conjunction with its live production partner, Sunset + Vine, will produce the tournament as ICC TV, which will be carried into cricket's heartlands by 15 broadcasters, including Star Sports in India and the sub-continent.

The potential reach for this event will easily outstrip any of the previous 10 editions as this is the first time that 20 matches will be broadcast live.

In the 2014 event in the UAE, 11 matches were shown, while 10 matches each were televised from the 2008, 2010 and 2012 events in Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia respectively.

The high-quality broadcast coverage will be through 22 cameras and include HawkEye for ball speeds and other analytical insights, while an the impressive and knowledgeable line up of commentators includes Pommie Mbangwa, Russel Arnold, Ian Bishop, Dominic Cork, Sanjay Manjrekar, Paul Allott, Athar Ali Khan, Daryl Cullinan, Lisa Sthalekar, Alan Wilkins, and Rohan Gavaskar.

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: "This is the most important age-group cricket tournament, which has a tradition of producing the next generation of stars.

"As such, the ICC has decided to expand the reach of this event, providing unprecedented broadcast and digital coverage to ensure that individual and team performances are provided greater exposure and that the youngsters get a taste of a truly global event."