Three years ago, Japan didn't have an active Under-19 cricket team. Today, however, Japan is one of 16 teams taking part in the ongoing Under-19 Cricket World Cup in South Africa.

It was poised to be a de facto final at the East Asia Pacific Under-19 qualifiers. The winner would go through to the World Cup, while the loser would be confined to heartbreak and regrets.

On the morning of June 8, 2019, however, Japan woke up to the news that Papua New Guinea had suspended 11 members of its squad for shoplifting. Unable to field a team, Papua New Guinea was forced to forfeit the game, sending Japan through to its first-ever global cricket tournament.