India, five-time champion in men's category Under-19 World Cup, has never hosted the tournament. Introduced as the Youth Cricket World Cup in 1988, the ICC has organized the biennial event 15 times since then, including the ongoing edition in South Africa. In the women's category, the U19 T20 World Cup was scheduled to be held in 2023. Yet, India, which has produced many talented cricketers from the U19 tournament, including players like Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, Rishabh Pant, has never hosted a Junior World Cup. ,
South Africa and New Zealand have hosted this tournament three times each, while Australia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have hosted it twice each. The West Indies, and associate nations Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates, have hosted it once each. The edition, in 2026, will be held in Zimbabwe and Namibia. South Africa also hosted the inaugural U19 Women's T20 World Cup in 2023.
Speaking to RevSportz ahead of India's Men's U19 World Cup final against Australia in Benoni on Sunday, former BCCI president Sourav Ganguly initially explained it as a move to take the game to countries where the senior World Cup is held. The hosting is less. The former India captain, who was also previously part of the ICC board that approved the Future Tour Program (FTP), had then termed the U19 World Cup as a non-profitable tournament for the host nations.
“There is no particular reason for it (India not hosting the Under-19 World Cup). The rest of the World Cups are played in India. What's wrong if it is played in places where senior World Cups are not held frequently? Ganguly said, this is a way to take the game to other countries.
“You can say it is a loss-making tournament. Most World Cups that do not involve senior men's teams are non-profit. But this is not the reason why the Under-19 World Cup was not played in India. And I think it is going to be held in India,'' he said.
Ganguly's comments came on the eve of India's final against Australia at Willowmoor Park. The defending champions will be aiming for an unprecedented sixth title after overcoming a tough challenge against hosts South Africa in the semi-final, while Australia, who defeated Pakistan by one wicket in the other semi-final, will be looking for their fourth title.