CAPE TOWN         -              Cricket’s brightest young talents are counting down the days until they take on the world’s best after the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 officially launched in South Africa. Sixteen nations from five continents are set to contest the 13th edition of the tournament starting on 17 January, with South Africa playing host for the first time since 1998. The countdown until the opening match is now well and truly under way with guests and dignitaries from across the world gathering at Willowmoore Park, Benoni, for the competition’s launch today. ICC General Manager–Cricket Geoff Allardice, Cricket South Africa Acting CEO Dr Jacques Faul and ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 Tournament Ambassador Sivuyile Mqingwana were among those in attendance. Current internationals Virat Kohli, Steve Smith and Kane Williamson are just a handful of those who made their name in the global showcase across the years, with new stars looking to shine bright and follow in the footsteps of the game’s biggest heroes. South Africa 2020 continues a proud tradition of global competition for the world’s leading teenage cricketers, with 27 current cricket-playing nations being represented since the first tournament in 1988. The upcoming edition will see Japan and Nigeria take part for the first time, two of 15 teams looking to stop India from defending the title they won in Mount Maunganui in 2018. India are among the six former champions looking to reach the February 9 final in Potchefstroom, the exciting culmination of 48 matches held in venues spread across the country.