The Afghanistan Cricket Board and Sierra Leone Cricket Association have informed the ICC that they have been unable to secure the required visas for their squads to enter Canada to take part in the event. As such, these teams have not been able to board their scheduled flights.

All stakeholders, including the ICC itself, continue to do whatever they can to have these visas issued as soon as possible but it is clear that either or both of these teams may now not arrive in time for their first match.

The event technical committee has considered this situation and made the following decisions in line with its terms of reference and with the best adherence to the event’s playing conditions while also giving the two teams in question every opportunity to take part in the event as planned:

If either team does not arrive for its match in round one (Tuesday 1 September), round two (Wednesday 2 September) or round three (Friday 4 September), that match or matches will be treated as “abandoned” under the playing conditions and therefore re-scheduled to be played on the relevant reserve day of the event (taking into account any other abandoned matches that may occur through rain or other reasons).

If any such match is re-scheduled for the first reserve day on Thursday 3 September and a team is not available to play that match on that day, then the match will be forfeited by the team concerned.

If any team does not arrive in time to play its round four match (on Saturday 5 September) then its official participation in the event will be withdrawn and all matches for all other teams against that team awarded as forfeits.

David Thorley, tournament director and chairman of the event technical committee, said: “All boards are aware of their obligations in securing visas for their traveling parties to events and while the ICC assists in every way within our powers, ultimately the boards are responsible for this process in conjunction with the government or embassy of the host nation.

“However, ultimately the main aim of this tournament is to make sure the best six cricket teams qualify for the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2010 in New Zealand and we are content this decision allows that to happen while not inconveniencing the other sides unduly,” he added.