The pinnacle of International cricket is the 50-overs World Cup. The spectacle which began in 1975, has been the flagship event for the International Cricket Committee (ICC). Played in the cycle of four years, the event is iconic for the top-8 nations as it is the greatest team success in cricket that can be achieved.
Although no associate nation till date has managed to win the World Cup, it remains the only stage for them to show their skills in front of a million eyeballs. The idea of an underdog fighting above its weight always excites everyone, except the ICC.
The ICC angered the cricketing fraternity when they announced the decision to shrink the World Cup down to only 10 teams, just two more than the Champions Trophy. In an age where Cricket should look to expand itself to its outposts, the ICC instead ventures to limit the game. They took the ‘World’ out of the ‘World Cup.’
The 10-team World Cup will begin in England in May 2019. Top eight full members have already secured their places in the event. The remaining two spots will be filled by the top two teams in the World Cup Qualifiers which began in Zimbabwe on 4th March 2018.
The World Cup Qualifiers has 10 teams fighting for the top two spots.These 10 teams are as follow:
Four Full members (ranked below eight) – West Indies, Zimbabwe, Ireland, Afghanistan
Top Four sides of the World Cricket League (WCL) Championship – Netherland, Scotland, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea
Top two sides from WCL division two – UAE, Nepal
The 10 teams are divided into two groups, each containing five. Each team will play against every other team in its group. Top-3 from each group then proceed to the Super Six stage. Here, the teams will play against the three teams that they did not face in the first round. The top two teams after these matches will qualify for the 2019 World Cup.
The points from the first round will carry forward so every match is important. The top two teams will play out a final, which will decide which team becomes Qualifier-1 and Qualifier-2 for the World Cup.
The tournament begins in Zimbabwe from 4th March and will reach its end by 25th March. Only ten matches from the event (two group matches of West Indies, seven Super Six matches, and the final) will be telecasted live.
It will be a really interesting tournament for the fans because this could be the first World Cup to not feature the two-time World Cup winners West Indies. It may become the first World Cup since 1983 to not have Zimbabwe playing, or it will be the World Cup where we will miss the heroics of Ireland and Afghanistan.
Whatever is the result of this tournament, the Cricket will miss something.
Which two teams do you think will top the tournament?