DUBAI: The schedule for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier has been released, following the confirmation of the 10 teams that will feature at the event hosted in Zimbabwe from June 18 to July 9.
Each match will be high stakes, with teams contesting for two places at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 in India that gives them nine guaranteed matches at cricket’s ODI global showpiece.
The 10 teams taking part in the qualifier are split into two groups of five. Hosts Zimbabwe, the West Indies, the Netherlands, Nepal and the United States make up Group A, while Sri Lanka, Ireland, Scotland, Oman and the United Arab Emirates form Group B.
Each side will play the other teams in their group once with the top three from each group progressing to the Super Six stage. In the Super Six, they will play the sides they did not meet in the group stage.
All points won in the group stage will be carried over to the Super Six stage apart from those gained against the teams that fail to make it to the Super Six stage. The finalists will both progress to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
Queen’s Sports Club and Bulawayo Athletic Club in Bulawayo, Harare Sports Club and Takashinga Cricket Club in Harare will share 34 matches between them, with Harare Sports Club staging the final on July 9. Old Hararians Cricket Club will also host warm-up fixtures.
Hosts Zimbabwe will feature on the opening match-day at Harare Sports Club against Nepal, who are aiming to qualify for the Men’s Cricket World Cup for the first time. Two-time Men’s Cricket World Cup champions West Indies will also be in action on June 18 against neighbours USA at Takashinga Cricket Club.
Group B commences on June 19 in Bulawayo with 1996 World Cup champions Sri Lanka facing the UAE at Queen’s Sports Club, while in the other match at Bulawayo Athletic Club, Ireland will face off against Oman.
The Netherlands will open their campaign against Zimbabwe on June 20 at Harare Sports Club, while Scotland face rivals Ireland in Bulawayo on June 21 at Queens Sports Club. The Super Six stage will commence on June 29, while the bottom two teams from each group will compete in the Playoff.
For the first time in this tournament, DRS will be used for all matches from the Super Six stage onwards.
The Qualifier is the culmination of four years of hard-fought competition that brings together the bottom five teams from the ICC Men’s CWC Super League, three automatic qualifiers from the ICC Men’s CWC League 2 and two teams who gained entry from the ICC Men’s CWC Qualifier Play-off.
ICC Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said: “The countdown to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 is entering the final stages and this event presents an incredible opportunity for teams to earn a place in the pinnacle event of one-day cricket. The stakes don’t get any bigger in what will be a very competitive event enjoyed by fans looking to see who will join the eight teams that have already booked their tickets to India.
“With two former World Cup champions among the contenders as well as emerging cricket nations who are aiming to qualify for the first time, this unique event, featuring teams from Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe will be a showcase of the global game.”
Zimbabwe Cricket Chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani said: “We are looking forward to an unforgettable treat of great, entertaining and competitive cricket, something that is guaranteed considering the quality of the teams participating in the tournament.
“Apart from the magic that the game itself is promising, this event presents us as the hosts with an incredible opportunity to showcase not only the passion for cricket in Zimbabwe but also the warmth of our people as well as the breath-taking beauty of our country and its tourist attractions.”
Fixtures (All matches start at 0900h local time)
Sunday, 18 June
Zimbabwe v Nepal, Harare Sports Club
West Indies v USA, Takashinga Cricket Club
Monday, 19 June
Sri Lanka v UAE, Queen’s Sports Club
Ireland v Oman, Bulawayo Athletic Club
Tuesday, 20 June
Zimbabwe v Netherlands, Harare Sports Club
Nepal v USA, Takashinga Cricket Club
Wednesday, 21 June
Ireland v Scotland, Queen’s Sports Club
Oman v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club
Thursday, 22 June
West Indies v Nepal, Harare Sports Club
Netherlands v USA, Takashinga Cricket Club
Friday, 23 June
Sri Lanka v Oman, Queen’s Sports Club
Scotland v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club
Saturday, 24 June
Zimbabwe v West Indies, Harare Sports Club
Netherlands v Nepal, Takashinga Cricket Club
Sunday, 25 June
Sri Lanka v Ireland, Queen’s Sports Club
Scotland v Oman, Bulawayo Athletic Club
Monday, 26 June
Zimbabwe v USA, Harare Sports Club
West Indies v Netherlands, Takashinga Cricket Club
Tuesday, 27 June
Sri Lanka v Scotland, Queen’s Sports Club
Ireland v UAE, Bulawayo Athletic Club
Thursday, 29 June
Super 6: A2 v B2, Queen’s Sports Club
Friday, 30 June
Super 6: A3 v B1, Queen’s Sports Club
Playoff: A5 v B4, Takashinga Cricket Club
Saturday, 1 July
Super 6: A1 v B3, Harare Sports Club
Sunday, 2 July
Super 6: A2 v B1, Queen’s Sports Club
Playoff: A4 v B5, Takashinga Cricket Club
Monday, 3 July
Super 6: A3 v B2, Harare Sports Club
Tuesday, 4 July
Super 6: A2 v B3, Queen’s Sports Club
Playoff: 7th v 8th Takashinga Cricket Club
Wednesday, 5 July
Super Six: A1 v B2, Harare Sports Club
Thursday, 6 July
Super Six: A3 v B3, Queen’s Sports Club
Playoff: 9th v 10th Takashinga Cricket Club
Friday, 07 July
Super Six: A1 v B1, Harare Sports Club
Sunday, 09 July
Final, Harare Sports Club
Tuesday, 13 June
West Indies v Scotland, Harare Sports Club
Zimbabwe v Oman, Takashinga Cricket Club
Nepal v UAE, Old Hararians Cricket Club
Sri Lanka v Netherlands, Queen’s Sports Club
Ireland v USA, Bulawayo Athletic Club
Thursday, 15 June
Nepal v Oman, Harare Sports Club
West Indies v UAE, Takashinga Cricket Club
Zimbabwe v Scotland, Old Hararians Cricket Club
Ireland v Netherlands, Queen’s Sports Club
Sri Lanka v USA, Bulawayo Athletic Club