2023 ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers: All you need to know – Dates, Venues, and Format Explainer
The preparation for the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup has started in full swing. While the big boys of international cricket are yet to get involved, as many as ten nations have entered the fight to secure the remaining two spots left to be filled. The qualifiers of the World Cup will start on Sunday in Zimbabwe, where ten teams, including former winners – Sri Lanka and West Indies, will be participating.
The teams who finished in the top eight of the 2020-23 ICC CWC Super League have already qualified for what will be a ten-team World Cup. Meanwhile, the bottom five of the Super League will compete against the top three of League 2, and the top two of qualifier playoffs for a place in the biggest cricket event of the globe.
West Indies and Sri Lanka narrowly missed out on automatic qualification, finishing 9th and 10th in the Super League standings, with Ireland, Zimbabwe and the Netherlands occupying the last three positions.
Meanwhile, the CWC League 2 was contested between seven teams. Scotland won that competition, winning 24 of their 36 matches, with Oman finishing second with 21 wins. The third place was occupied by Nepal, who won 19 games.
These three teams hence found a place in the playoffs directly. Meanwhile, six teams competed in the qualifier playoffs, where the United States of America and the United Arab Emirates finished in the top two positions to book a place in the qualifiers. Both of those teams won four of their five matches.
The group stages will begin on 18th June, with the ten teams having been divided into two groups of five. The final matchday of the group stages will be on 27th June, with a total of 20 games to be played in this ten-day period.
The competition will then move on to the Super Six stage, which will begin on 29th June and end on 7th July. In this phase, every team will be playing a total of three matches, with the total number of matches amounting to nine. Meanwhile, the teams who could not qualify for the Super Six will face off in the 7th-10th place playoffs, to be held from 30th June to 6th July.
The final will take place on 9th July.
ICC 2023 Cricket World Cup Qualifier Schedule:
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
Super Six stage
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 7 July
Super Six: A1 v B1, Harare Sports Club
CWC Qualifier Final
Sunday 9 July
Final, Harare Sports Club
The competition is being held in Zimbabwe, across two cities and four stadiums. In the Zimbabwean capital of Harare, the Harare Sports Club and the Takashinga Cricket Club have been chosen as the host stadiums. Meanwhile in the city of Bulawayo, Queens Sports Club and Bulawayo Athletic Club will be hosting matches.
|1||Zimbabwe (H)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Advances toSuper Six|
|4||Netherlands||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Advances to 7th-10th Playoffs|
|5||United States of America||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|1||Ireland||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Advances toSuper Six|
|4||Sri Lanka||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||Advances to 7th-10th Playoffs|
|5||United Arab Emirates||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
The team teams have been divided into two groups of five each – Zimbabwe, Nepal, West Indies, USA and the Netherlands in Group A, and Ireland, Oman, UAE, Scotland and Sri Lanka in Group B.
In the group stage, every team will play against every other team from the same group on a round-robin basis. Once every team would have played their four games, the top three teams from each group will advance to the Super Six stage.
There, every team will not play against all of the five opponents, but only the three top teams from the other group. In this way, a team will play three matches in the Super Six phase, and the top two teams after this stage will qualify for the World Cup. Meanwhile, a final has also been scheduled, with the winner to be crowned with a trophy.
Besides this, the four teams who will not make it out of the group stage will be seen competing in the 7th-10th place playoffs.
Though the likes of Ireland and Scotland have the ability to spring a surprise, the two outright favorites to make it to the main event will be Sri Lanka and West Indies. The 1996 champions, Sri Lanka have a balanced squad after a long time, with the likes of Pathum Nissanka in batting, and CSK duo Maheesh Theekshana and Matheesha Pathirana in bowling. They will also have a seasoned leader in Dasun Shanaka to guide them through tough times.
While the West Indies squad is not as balanced, the two-time champions have enough firepower in their kitty to make it to the World Cup. In Kyle Mayers, they have an invaluable all-rounder who can open the innings and also do well with the new ball. Besides that, the likes of Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell have experience of playing all around the globe, which could come in handy.