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      Tough task ahead of Sri Lanka youth cricketers
 
Sri Lanka, playing in the group 'D', will have to win at-least two matches in the preliminarily round if they have any hope of getting closer to the title in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2012 tournament, which begins at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville, on Saturday.In addition to Sri Lanka, The group 'D' includes South Africa, Bangladesh and Namibia.Sri Lanka has to stay among the top two teams to qualify for the super 8's. The bottom two teams of each group will play in the plate championships.Three-time champion Australia will launch its title defence on Saturday when it goes head to head against 1998 winner England in the curtain raiser of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2012, at Tony Ireland Stadium in Townsville, on Saturday.Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will lock horns at Endeavour Park 1 in Townsville while two-time former champions, Pakistan will take on neighbors Afghanistan at John Blanck Oval on the Sunshine Coast on the same day.The 16 sides, including 10 Full Members and six qualifiers (Afghanistan, Ireland, Namibia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Scotland), have been equally divided into four groups, with the two top sides from each group to qualify for the Super League stage.The Plate final will be staged on 24 August in Brisbane, while the Super League final will be held at Tony Ireland Stadium on 26 August.Australia is the most successful team in the history of the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup, having won titles in 1988 (Australia), 2002 and 2010 (both in New Zealand). In addition to this, it twice appeared in the semi-finals (2000 and 2006) while in 2008 in Malaysia, it played in the quarter-final.With the event once again returning to familiar territories, Australia will start off as firm favourite to win the title for the fourth time, which will also make it the second team after Pakistan to win back-to-back titles. Pakistan achieved the feat in 2004 and 2006.Australia captain Will Bosisto said his side was under no extra pressure of having to defend the title on home turf.“I don’t see the fact that we are defending champion as any extra burden. I just think it is a great opportunity for all of us to go out and do our best"