Ireland’s loss against Bangladesh gave South Africa a ticket to the ODI World Cup, which made them “chuffed”

Up till August 30, South Africa hasn't played an ODI since April 2 against the Netherlands

Having spent the most of the World Cup Super League outside of the top eight, South Africa is “obviously chuffed” to have qualified straight for the men’s ODI World Cup, which will be played in India later this year. And Chelmsford’s climate is to blame for it.

Even if Ireland wins the series, they will not be able to overtake South Africa in eighth position on the Super League points standings due to the non-result of the first of the three one-day internationals between Ireland and Bangladesh on Tuesday. 

The ten-team qualifying competition in Zimbabwe, which runs from June 18 to July 9, will feature previous world champions West Indies and Sri Lanka, although Ireland are guaranteed a ninth-place result and will participate.

“We’re obviously chuffed to qualify directly because it makes life a lot simpler not having to go through the qualifying tournament,” Rob Walter, South Africa’s white-ball coach, told ESPNcricinfo. “But there would have been an upside to competing in the qualifier given the very quiet winter we have.”

The men’s team’s last ODI match was against the Netherlands on April 2, and they won’t play again until August 30. This amounts to nearly five months of inactivity following a successful summer that saw victories over England, the West Indies, and the Netherlands following humiliating trips to Australia for the T20 World Cup and a Test series.

Both formats saw South Africa come away empty-handed, but neither was as important as ODIs. After losing series to Pakistan (2021 at home), Sri Lanka (2021 away), and Bangladesh (2022 at home), as well as forfeiting a series in Australia (scheduled for January 2023) so that their best cricketers could participate in the inaugural SA20 league, they began the year in 11th place on the Super League standings, far outside the automatic qualification zone.

With series victories against England and the Netherlands, which moved them up to No. 8, South Africa gave themselves the best opportunity of making it to the World Cup. However, the ultimate result was out of their control as they awaited the conclusion of the Ireland vs. Bangladesh matches.

Walter confirmed that Cricket South Africa had prepared “two plans based on either eventuality” to carry out, one in the event that a trip to Zimbabwe was required and the other in the event that South Africa managed to maintain its eighth-place position. 

The first of those would have required Walter to leave his New Zealand residence sooner than anticipated and would have seen the return to action of star players soon after the conclusion of the IPL on May 28. They will no longer be used until later in the winter. The second strategy has already started, with a camp starting on Tuesday at the high-performance facility in Pretoria.

“What we have now is the chance to spend some quality time outside of competition getting ourselves ready for a marquee event,”

Walter said. 

“We have a number of camps planned throughout the winter in the lead up to the Australia series which obviously forms our final preparation for the World Cup. There is also the ‘A’ side tour to Sri Lanka, so we have tried to ensure significant skill development opportunities and time in the middle from a competitive point of view.”

Next month, South Africa A will play Sri Lanka A in three one-day games and two four-day matches under the leadership of Tony de Zorzi, who has eight Test caps. 

On Sri Lanka’s request, the white-ball matches were scheduled so that they could get ready for the qualifying competition in June. Both Gerald Coetzee and Tristan Stubbs are among the traveling party and could put themselves up for the World Cup roster after earning ODI caps this year.

The majority of the players who will participate in the ODI program are already active in the IPL. Aside from Lungi Ngidi, who is competing in the competition but has yet to play, Quinton de Kock, Kagiso Rabada, Marco Jansen, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Heinrich Klaasen, Wayne Parnell, and Sisanda Magala have all participated. 

Over the winter, South Africa will also have players in the Hundred and CPL, and the CSA will keep an eye on how they perform.

“All players have an individual analysis highlighting strengths and specific areas of focus in the period,”

Walter said.

“This is all planned alongside our players’ involvement in the different leagues that continue on through the winter.”