By Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE is set to feature in the inaugural ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League which was officially confirmed by the International Cricket Council on Monday.
The newly formed global tournament which gets underway Thursday when world 50-over champions England face Ireland in Southampton was introduced to bring context to One Day International (ODI) cricket.
The Super League will determine qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 with the top seven teams automatically booking their spot at the event in India.
Zimbabwe will be eager to make a return to the World Cup after missing out on a spot at the last edition of the tournament held in England and Wales.
The Chevrons are part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, with the Chevrons meant to face Australia, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Ireland away while their home fixtures are against India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh as well as the Netherlands.
The clashes with Australia and India have already been postponed because of the coronavirus but will be rescheduled.
Featuring 13 teams, the 12 ICC Full Members and the Netherlands, who qualified by winning the ICC World Cricket Super League 2015-17, the Super League will see each side play four home and four away three-match series.
Commenting on the launch, Geoff Allardice, ICC general manager cricket operations said, “We are delighted to get the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League underway with World Cup winners England against Ireland.
“The league will bring relevance and context to ODI cricket over the next three years, as qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 is at stake. The Super League gives cricket fans around the world even more reasons to watch as the drama of league cricket unfolds.”
Dates for the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup were recently changed because of disruptions to international cricket brought about by Covid-19. Allardice feels that the adjustment of dates affords ICC an opportunity to reschedule fixtures not played because of Covid-19.
“The decision last week to move the World Cup back to late 2023 gives us more time to schedule any games lost due to Covid-19 and preserve the integrity of the qualification process, meaning it will be decided on the field of play, which is important,’’ he said.
The ICC will provide further updates on the Super League and its fixtures will be shared in the course of time after a discussion with member boards.