The what, when, how of the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League?
In an unexpected scenario, the COVID-19 outbreak pandemic has brought the sporting world to halt. However, several sporting events are lined-up, and sports organisations are trying to put together a schedule to make the most out of the current situation. The inaugural edition ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, which is supposed to begin on May 1, 2020. It might as well get postponed owing to the current global scenario. Here let’s see what’s this World Cup Super League all about.
What is ICC Cricket World Cup Super League?
Cricket World Cup Super League is a One Day International League. The league will be used as a primary qualifier of sorts to the ODI World Cup in 2023. The twelve full ICC members along with the Netherlands, who won the 2015-2017 World Cricket League Championships, will be a part of the league.
How does it work?
The thirteen teams that are participating in the league will be playing four home and four away ODI series. Each series will comprise three matches. By the end of the league, the host nation – India, and the top seven teams will qualify for the World Cup. Remaining five teams will be playing the World Cup qualifier scheduled in 2022.
Who will play in the qualifiers?
Nepal, Scotland and UAE play with top four teams from the 2019 Division two World Cricket League will play in League Two. Teams that finish in the top three spots of League two will directly qualify for the World Cup qualifiers. The bottom four teams from League two and top two teams from the World Cricket League will participate in a play-off, from which the top two teams will move to play the World Cup qualifiers. There they will play along with the five teams from the Super League.
Five teams from Super League, three from League two and two from WCL will be playing the World Cup qualifiers. Off the ten teams, top two teams will be eligible for the 2023 World Cup.
Other important aspects
Like the ICC World Test championship, here also every team will not play against everyone else. As there are thirteen teams, each team will play only eight series. The league comprises 156 matches. The league will happen over a period of 23 months, from May 2020 to March 2022.
The team that comes thirteenth in the League will be relegated to League Two. Of the thirteenth team and the champions of the League Two, whichever team that finishes in a higher position in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers will be eligible as the thirteenth team for the next edition of the Super League.
While announcing the schedule of the League in October 2018 then ICC chief executive David Richardson said that the World Cricket League has played a crucial role in improving the standards of Associate Member cricket. However, he said that the associate nations have requested for more games and certainty on their schedule.
“The new structure significantly increases the number of matches and competitive playing opportunities for our Members as well as shortening the whole qualification process to two and a half years, when previously it was six. There is a clear pathway now for teams looking to qualify for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup,” he said.
Amidst the Coronavirus outbreak whether the Super League will begin as per schedule is still under question. If it doesn’t, whether ICC will go with the older structure due to scheduling issues or will they make contingency plans is something one will have wait and watch.