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Cricket Australia (CA) and the Queensland Government announced that Queensland will host the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2012.

The partnership between the International Cricket Council (ICC), CA, Queensland Cricket and Events Queensland will see Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Townsville hosting teams from around the globe in August next year, with Australia, as current defending champion, aiming to go back-to-back on home soil.

Nepal is one of the qualifiers to participate in the event.

It will be the second time the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup has been held in Australia, after the inaugural event in 1988, and will showcase the world’s best emerging players, broadcasting their talents around the globe to millions of television viewers in India, England, New Zealand and South Africa amongst many others via ESPN STAR Sports.

Cricket Australia Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said everyone was looking forward to seeing the exciting young talent on show and was very pleased to have the support of Events Queensland.

“The ICC U19 Cricket World Cup is the showcase event for best young cricketers in the world and is where the next Cameron White or Yuvraj Singh gets their first real taste of top-level international cricket,” Mr Sutherland said.

“It was only a couple of years ago we saw Mitch Marsh captain the Australia Under-19 team to victory in New Zealand with talents such as Josh Hazlewood, Alister McDermott and Alex Keath alongside him.

“We are very grateful to Queensland Cricket and Events Queensland for their support in hosting this tournament and I think all the teams and supporters will enjoy their time in Australia’s sunshine state.

“We are building towards hosting the senior ICC Cricket World Cup in 2015 and this tournament will play a big part in getting ready for that event,” he said.

Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said: “This is great news for Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and Townsville because it will bring the best young cricketers in the world here to play locally.

“This is a first for Queensland and it’s the only the second time Australia has hosted the competition – the last time being in 1988 in Melbourne and Adelaide.

“This event will deliver an economic shot in the arm to the host communities and showcase Queensland to the world – attracting 400 players and officials from 16 countries and generating an expected 7000 bed nights for the local tourism industry.

“In addition, it will be televised into the homes of cricket fans in more than 100 countries including in Asia, the UK and South Africa via ESPN STAR Sports.”

Queensland Sports Minister Phil Reeves said the event had also previously been held in countries including New Zealand, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and South Africa.

“This is a truly international event that further cements Queensland’s status as the sporting events capital of Australia,” Mr Reeves said.

“It’s particularly exciting to be hosting it in 2012 because Australia is the current defending champion after winning the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup in New Zealand in 2010.

“Having this event here in Queensland as the chosen location in Australia next year is a vote of confidence in our ability to host major sporting events of international significance.”

Ms Bligh and Mr Reeves thanked the ICC, Cricket Australia, Queensland Cricket and Events Queensland for their partnership which had delivered the event to Queensland.

Queensland Cricket Chief Executive Officer Graham Dixon said Queensland Cricket was looking forward to hosting the tournament.

“Queensland Cricket is thrilled at the decision to bring the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup to our state, and especially with the decision to play in two important regional centres, Townsville and the Sunshine Coast, with the resulting positive economic impact on those areas,” he said.

“The support of the State Government and the Events Queensland will enable Queensland to provide an international showcase around this tournament, which has grown into a significant event on the world cricket stage.

“Queensland Cricket is acutely aware that the ICC Cricket World Cup will be staged in Australia and New Zealand in 2015 and so tournaments like the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup are an important proving ground for us, and for Cricket Australia, as it gets closer to hosting that major event,” he said.

“The support of government at all levels will be a vital part of our collective preparations for 2015, but I know that Queensland Cricket is looking forward to working closely with all of our stakeholders to make the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup a memorable and successful event.”

The 2012 tournament will be the ninth ICC U19 Cricket World Cup after the inaugural event was held in Australia in 1988.

Australia has won the event on three occasions, taking home the inaugural title in 1988, then again in 2002 and most recently in 2010 at the last event held in New Zealand.