Sri Lanka has appeared in every U19 Cricket World Cup since the tournament was first played in 1988. The closest it has come to winning the tournament was in 2000, when it hosted the event and finished second, losing the final to India by six wickets. In 2010, Sri Lanka lost the semi-finals to eventual winner, Australia, by two wickets.
Since the 2010 event, Sri Lanka has played a number of international matches. In early 2011, Sri Lanka hosted England U19s for a five match ODI series, and won the series 3-1. In a rain-affected first match, Bhanuka Rajapaksa scored his third century in three games against England, scoring 130 from 131 deliveries.
In late 2011, the team played a Quadrangular series in India, beating both Australia and West Indies. Sri Lanka lost the final to India by five runs, despite an inspiring performance from Lahiru Madushanka, who took four wickets for 17 runs and then top scored for the team with 63 runs.
In the recent ACC U19 Asia Cup, Sri Lanka won all its group matches to finish top of its group and progress to the semi-finals, where it faced India. Despite half centuries from Sandun Weerakkody (73) and Nirosha Dickwella (66), the team lost by six wickets.
Placed in a group with South Africa, Bangladesh and Namibia, Sri Lanka U19s will be looking to progress to the final eight without too much trouble, having strong records against all three teams in the event.
If the team is in need of any inspiration, it need look no further than Sanath Jayasuriya, who played in the inaugural event in 1988 and went on to captain the Sri Lanka national team.