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U-19 World Cup 2006: Tournament grouping and performance analysis (2006)
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Our resident stats guru looks to ... the stats ... to offer predictions for the U-19 WC which kicks off shortly.

U-19 World Cup 2006: Tournament grouping and performance analysis

Published: 2nd February, 2006

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U-19 World Cup is about to start this month in Sri Lanka. Namibia and Uganda (African-zone associate), Nepal (Asian-zone associate), Ireland and Scotland (European-zone associate) and the USA (American-zone associate) along with 10 Test playing nations will participate in this 16-nation high-profile ICC age-group tournament.

The grouping of the U-19 World Cup is as follows:

Group-A Group-B
1. Pakistan
2. New Zealand
3. Bangladesh
4. Uganda
1. West Indies
2. South Africa
3. Australia
4. USA
Group-C Group-D
1. India
2. Sri Lanka
3. Scotland
4. Namibia
1. England
2. Zimbabwe
3. Ireland
4. Nepal.

Top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super League round and the other eight teams will play in the plate group.

Bangladesh is in Group-A along with Pakistan and New Zealand. Considering Bangladesh?s recent performance in the U-19 level, Group-A will be highly competitive with three Test nations in the same group.

Group-B is also made of three Test nations, Australia, the West Indies and South Africa, making it one of the more difficult groups in this tournament.

England apparently gets an easy pass in Group-D with Zimbabwe as their accompanying Test nation. Considering Zimbabwe?s recent performances, one of the associate countries might even qualify for the Super League round from this group.

Group-C is well structured with two Test nations, India and Sri Lanka and two associate teams.

It would have been a more balanced grouping if one of the stronger Test nations from Group-A or Group-B was placed in Group-D. Particularly, Group-B teams would have some breathing room if Zimbabwe were placed in that group. That the grouping was done based on the last U-19 World Cup performances explains the lopsided groupings.

In the 2004 U-19 World Cup, held in Bangladesh, the final positions of the teams were as follows:

Champion: Pakistan
Runners-up
: West Indies
Other Semi-finalists: India (3rd) and England (4th)
Other Super League Teams: Zimbabwe (5th), Sri Lanka (6th), South Africa (7th), New Zealand
(8th)

Plate Champion: Bangladesh
Plate Runners-up
: Australia
Other Plate Semi-finalists: Ireland (11th) and Scotland (12th)
Other Plate Group Teams: Nepal (13th), Uganda (14th), Canada (15th) and PNG (16th)

While the ranking of the last world cup justifies the grouping, I think a more balanced approach would take both ranking and recent performances in the final makeups. Such an approach is followed by the FIFA in the World Cup Soccer groupings.

Team Performances:

Considering Indian sub-continental conditions, Asian teams will certainly have an edge in the championship. Considering recent international match performances against other U-19 teams, India appears to be one of the top favorites for the tournament.

India had an impressive record of series wins against Australia and England. In 2005, India defeated both teams with 4-1 series margins. In the recently completed Afro-Asian Cup, they won all six matches to win the tournament. The strength of Indian team was clearly evident from it's huge winning margins in most matches in this Afro-Asian tournament, i.e. 145 runs, 140 runs, 102 runs, 94 runs, 8 wickets etc. India played 26 international One-day matches against other Test nations since 2003 and 16 of them was in 2005 with an overall 81% winning record. Clearly, they are targeting the world cup with solid preparation.

In preparation for the World Cup, Bangladesh hosted a 3-nation tournament in November 2005, involving Sri Lanka and England. The Bangladesh U-19 team clinched the trophy with an impressive record of winning 6 out of 7 matches. The Bangladesh U-19 team played 12 matches last year with a 75% winning record.

The following table shows a summary of performance record of U-19 Teams against other U-19 teams of Test playing nations:

Team

Winning Record in 2005

Winning Record in 2003-2005

Match

Win

%

Match

Win

%

Australia

5

1

20%

13

6

46%

Bangladesh

12

9

75%

20

10

50%

England

13

3

23%

26

9

35%

India

16

14

88%

26

21

81%

New Zealand

0

0

n/a

5

1

20%

Pakistan

12

6

50%

26

16

62%

South Africa

5

1

20%

10

4

40%

Sri Lanka

18

10

56%

36

18

50%

West Indies

4

1

25%

14

6

43%

Zimbabwe

5

0

0%

10

2

20%

For this analysis, we considered only the international matches played between U-19 "national teams" during the period 2003 to 2005. Matches played between an U-19 national team and a non-national team (i.e. regional team) were not considered. For this reason, we did not count the matches the Bangladesh U-19 played in Australia in April-2005. Bangladesh won 8 out of 9 matches and it certainly proves the strength of this team. But it was an unofficial (not organized by Cricket Australia) practice tour as part of the World Cup 2006 preparation. Bangladesh team played against Australia U-19 Training Squad and some other Regional Squads.

The match performance summary of the U-19 teams of all Test playing nations is summarized below:

Australia

Performance since 2003: Match-13, Win-6, Loss-7.
Performance in 2005: Match-5, Win-1, Loss-4

The following is the match performance (Win-Loss) of the Australia U-19 team against other U-19 Test nation teams since 2003:

Australia vs. Bangladesh: 0-1
Australia vs. England: 4-1
Australia vs. India: 1-4
Australia vs. New Zealand: 0-0
Australia vs. Pakistan: 0-0
Australia vs. South Africa: 0-0
Australia vs. Sri Lanka: 1-0
Australia vs. West Indies: 0-0
Australia vs. Zimbabwe: 0-1

Bangladesh

Performance since 2003: Match-20, Win-10, Loss-10.
Performance in 2005: Match-12, Win-9, Loss-3

The following is the match performance (Win-Loss) of the Bangladesh U-19 team against other U-19 Test nation teams since 2003:

Bangladesh vs. Australia: 1-0
Bangladesh vs. England: 3-2
Bangladesh vs. India: 0-3
Bangladesh vs. New Zealand: 0-1
Bangladesh vs. Pakistan: 1-1
Bangladesh vs. South Africa: 1-0
Bangladesh vs. Sri Lanka: 3-3
Bangladesh vs. West Indies: 0-0
Bangladesh vs. Zimbabwe: 1-0

England

Performance since 2003: Match-26, Win-9, Loss-17.
Performance in 2005: Match-13, Win-3, Loss-10

The following is the match performance (Win-Loss) of the England U-19 team against other U-19 Test nation teams since 2003:

England vs. Australia: 1-4
England vs. Bangladesh: 2-3
England vs. India: 1-4
England vs. New Zealand: 1-0
England vs. Pakistan: 1-0
England vs. South Africa: 0-2
England vs. Sri Lanka: 2-3
England vs. West Indies: 0-1
England vs. Zimbabwe: 1-0

India

Performance since 2003: Match-26, Win-21, Loss-5.
Performance in 2005: Match-16, Win-14, Loss-2

The following is the match performance (Win-Loss) of the India U-19 team against other U-19 Test nation teams since 2003:

India vs. Australia: 4-1
India vs. Bangladesh: 3-0
India vs. England: 4-1
India vs. New Zealand: 1-0
India vs. Pakistan: 2-1
India vs. South Africa: 1-1
India vs. Sri Lanka: 4-1
India vs. West Indies: 1-0
India vs. Zimbabwe: 1-0

New Zealand

Performance since 2003: Match-5, Win-1, Loss-4.
Performance in 2005: No international match

The following is the match performance (Win-Loss) of the New Zealand U-19 team against other U-19 Test nation teams since 2003:

New Zealand vs. Australia: 0-0
New Zealand vs. Bangladesh: 1-0
New Zealand vs. England: 0-1
New Zealand vs. India: 0-1
New Zealand vs. Pakistan: 0-1
New Zealand vs. South Africa: 0-0
New Zealand vs. Sri Lanka: 0-0
New Zealand vs. West Indies: 0-0
New Zealand vs. Zimbabwe: 0-1

Pakistan

Performance since 2003: Match-26, Win-16, Loss-10.
Performance in 2005: Match-12, Win-6, Loss-6

The following is the match performance (Win-Loss) of the Pakistan U-19 team against other U-19 Test nation teams since 2003:

Pakistan vs. Australia: 0-0
Pakistan vs. Bangladesh: 1-1
Pakistan vs. England: 0-1
Pakistan vs. India: 1-2
Pakistan vs. New Zealand: 1-0
Pakistan vs. South Africa: 1-0
Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka: 5-5
Pakistan vs. West Indies: 5-1
Pakistan vs. Zimbabwe: 2-0

South Africa

Performance since 2003: Match-10, Win-4, Loss-6.
Performance in 2005: Match-5, Win-1, Loss-4

The following is the match performance (Win-Loss) of the South Africa U-19 team against other U-19 Test nation teams since 2003:

South Africa vs. Australia: 0-0
South Africa vs. Bangladesh: 0-1
South Africa vs. England: 2-0
South Africa vs. India: 1-1
South Africa vs. New Zealand: 0-0
South Africa vs. Pakistan: 0-1
South Africa vs. Sri Lanka: 0-2
South Africa vs. West Indies: 0-1
South Africa vs. Zimbabwe: 1-0

Sri Lanka

Performance since 2003: Match-36, Win-18, Loss-18.
Performance in 2005: Match-18, Win-10, Loss-8

The following is the match performance (Win-Loss) of the Sri Lanka U-19 team against other U-19 Test nation teams since 2003:

Sri Lanka vs. Australia: 0-1
Sri Lanka vs. Bangladesh: 3-3
Sri Lanka vs. England: 3-2
Sri Lanka vs. India: 1-4
Sri Lanka vs. New Zealand: 0-0
Sri Lanka vs. Pakistan: 5-5
Sri Lanka vs. South Africa: 2-0
Sri Lanka vs. West Indies: 2-3
Sri Lanka vs. Zimbabwe: 2-0

West Indies

Performance since 2003: Match-14, Win-6, Loss-8.
Performance in 2005: Match-4, Win-1, Loss-3

The following is the match performance (Win-Loss) of the West Indies U-19 team against other U-19 Test nation teams since 2003:

West Indies vs. Australia: 0-0
West Indies vs. Bangladesh: 0-0
West Indies vs. England: 1-0
West Indies vs. India: 0-1
West Indies vs. New Zealand: 0-0
West Indies vs. Pakistan: 1-5
West Indies vs. South Africa: 1-0
West Indies vs. Sri Lanka: 3-2
West Indies vs. Zimbabwe: 0-0

Zimbabwe

Performance since 2003: Match-10, Win-2, Loss-8.
Performance in 2005: Match-5, Win-0, Loss-5

The following is the match performance (Win-Loss) of the Zimbabwe U-19 team against other U-19 Test nation teams since 2003:

Zimbabwe vs. Australia: 1-0
Zimbabwe vs. Bangladesh: 0-1
Zimbabwe vs. England: 0-1
Zimbabwe vs. India: 0-1
Zimbabwe vs. New Zealand: 1-0
Zimbabwe vs. Pakistan: 0-2
Zimbabwe vs. South Africa: 0-1
Zimbabwe vs. Sri Lanka: 0-2
Zimbabwe vs. West Indies: 0-0

Final thoughts

Past performance is not the best indicator of strength for age-group teams due to many factors including the age-out one. Player composition of the U-19 teams changes frequently as players age out of their teens. Still, recent performances of the U-19 teams against each other might be used as a general indicator.

 

About the author(s): When one looks up the term "Renaissance Man" in a Bangla obhidhan, our own Syed Kamal's face will grace the description. In his productive life - and it isn't over yet - Syed Kamal has managed to serve as a BCB umpire aspiring to attain ICC certification, earn a living as an Intelligence agent for an "unnamed" US agency, write a romantic/erotic dictionary in Bangla (that somehow ended up on the National Museum's official display of "Bangla Obhidhan er Biborton") and, in his golden years, become a resident in Dubya's home country - Texas. Somehow, between all this, he has also managed to pen this piece.

 

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