The race for the final qualification spot available for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2020 is set to get intense as the Netherlands, Scotland, Jersey, Denmark, France and Ireland compete in a round-robin from July 26 to 1st August.
The team sitting on top of the table following the end of the round-robin will fill the 16th and final spot available for the tournament set to be held in South Africa. Nigeria, Japan, United Arab Emirates and Canada have qualified as regional qualifiers so far.
For Scottish cricketer Angus Guy, qualification for the World Cup presents an "incredible" opportunity to compete with some of the best in the game, showcase their skills on the world stage.
Netherlands skipper Doris Gorlee on the other hand terms qualification for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup as an opportunity to boost the quality of youth cricket in the nation.
Both sides are set to face off in their opening games of the competition. Another two teams who progressed from Division 2 to inch closer to the tournament are France and Denmark.
France skipper Kishan Patel has termed leading his side to South Africa as a "dream", further expressing his personal excitement on the opportunity to battle it out against some of the best teams in the world with great history.
“To lead my team to South Africa would be a dream, and amazing to be a team to go from Division 2 to the World Cup," he said as quoted by the ICC press release.
“I’ll definitely be excited because you play the world’s best teams with great history. This is definitely our goal and hope that we could achieve this,” added Patel.
For Denmark, qualification presents an opportunity to make their second appearance in the competition after finishing 13th back in 1998. However, skipper Abdullah Mahmood is not looking too far ahead bearing in mind the tough competition in store for his side.
“Each and every individual from our team has worked so hard, and I know that every team we are going to face has prepared themselves really well, so it's going to be tough,” he said.
“We have prepared as well as we could with the facilities we have, so we are definitely going to do our best to qualify and it would be an indescribable feeling for me and the team if we get to South Africa,” added Mahmood.
Ireland take on Jersey in the final set of opening fixtures, with qualification for the tournament presenting an opportunity to script history for the latter.
Victory for Harrison Carlyon-led Jersey will result in the nation making its debut appearance in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup, which is an extremely important achievement for Carlyon.
“Qualifying for the World Cup would mean everything to me and would be a fantastic achievement by the boys. We haven’t qualified before so obviously, there is an added incentive which I think this group of players is really thriving on and would make it that extra bit special," he said.
“It would also be fantastic because it would be a great chance for us to show how far Jersey Cricket has come and it would really raise our profile around the cricketing world,” concluded Carlyon.