The International Cricket Council announced the fifth round fixtures of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Championship and the ICC Intercontinental Cup 2011-2013
The latest round of fixtures for the two events that feature the top eight Associate and Affiliate Members is scheduled for March and April 2013.
Ireland currently tops both tables and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is set to host Ireland from 12 March 2013, will have a tough task ahead of it to secure victory against the top-ranked Associate.
Meanwhile, a battle for second place in the Intercontinental Cup will take place between Afghanistan and Scotland the week before in the UAE. The Saltires are currently just two points ahead of Afghanistan in that competition, while also in second position in the WCL Championship, only two points behind Ireland.
Elsewhere, lower-ranked Kenya will take on Canada in its series scheduled to begin in the UAE on 14 March 2013, while Namibia will host the Netherlands from 11 April. Netherlands are currently sitting in third position in the WCL Championship, while Namibia is seventh.
With the top two teams after the seven-round WCL Championship qualifying automatically for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, it is a tight race at the top of the table, with only three points separating the top four teams. Ireland is currently first (13 points), Scotland is second (11 points), the Netherlands is third and the UAE is fourth (both on 10 points).
Former champion Ireland also leads the ICC Intercontinental Cup with 67 points from four matches, while only three points separate Scotland in second place (46 points), Afghanistan in third (44 points) and Namibia in fourth (43 points).
The upcoming fixtures are as follows:
Afghanistan v Scotland
3 Mar - T20I, Sharjah
4 Mar - T20I, Sharjah
6 Mar - WCL Championship, ODI, Sharjah
8 Mar - WCL Championship, ODI, Sharjah
12-15 Mar - ICC Intercontinental Cup, Abu Dhabi
UAE v Ireland
12-15 Mar - ICC Intercontinental Cup, Sharjah
18 Mar - WCL Championship, 50-over, Sharjah
20 Mar - WCL Championship, 50-over, Sharjah
21 Mar - T20, Sharjah (TBC)
Kenya v Canada*
14-17 Mar - ICC Intercontinental Cup, ICC Global Cricket Academy, Dubai
19 Mar - WCL Championship, ODI, ICC Global Cricket Academy, Dubai
21 Mar - WCL Championship, ODI, ICC Global Cricket Academy, Dubai
23 Mar - T20I, ICC Global Cricket Academy, Dubai
24 Mar - T20I, ICC Global Cricket Academy, Dubai
Namibia v Netherlands
11-14 Apr - ICC Intercontinental Cup, Wanderers, Windhoek
16 Apr - WCL Championship, 50-over, Wanderers, Windhoek
18 Apr - WCL Championship, 50-over, Wanderers, Windhoek
20 Apr - T20, Wanderers, Windhoek
21 Apr - T20, Wanderers, Windhoek
* Dates for the Kenya v Canada fixtures may be changed to accommodate logistical and scheduling requirements of the two teams. Should this happen, the ICC will make an announcement