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Do-or-die for ICC CWC 2015 hopefuls in New Zealand

Ten teams to vie for the two remaining spots in cricket’s biggest event
With two places up for grabs at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 (CWC), 10 teams head into next month’s ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier New Zealand 2014 (CWCQ) knowing that the tournament represents the final chance to qualify for ICC’s flagship event that will be staged in Australia and New Zealand from 14 February to 29 March. 

The ICC CWCQ NZ 2014 is the final step in a qualification pathway that started in each of the five regions in 2011, and features 10 leading Associate and Affiliate teams.

The finalists from January’s event will join the 10 Full Members as well as Ireland and Afghanistan in cricket’s biggest event, which progressed after securing the top two positions at the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Championship (WCLC).

The sides taking part in the ICC CWCQ NZ 2014, which runs from 13 January to 1 February, are Canada, Hong Kong, Kenya, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Uganda and United Arab Emirates.

The two groups have been drawn up on the basis of the teams’ rankings going into the ICC CWCQ NZ 2014. These are:

Group A                Group B 
UAE                    Netherlands
Scotland                Kenya
Canada                    Namibia    
Hong Kong                 PNG
Nepal                    Uganda

The 10 teams have been divided into two groups of five, with the top three progressing into the Super Sixes stage of the tournament.

The side that wins the tournament will join Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka in Pool A of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, while the runner-up will team up with India, Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa, West Indies and Zimbabwe in Pool B.

In the North Island, matches will be played at Mt Maunganui’s Bay Oval and the iconic terraced Pukekura Park in New Plymouth. In the South Island Christchurch’s Hagley Oval will debut as an international cricket venue. Matches will also be played in Rangiora, Queenstown and Lincoln, with the Bert Sutcliffe Oval hosting the final of the tournament on 1 February. 

This is the 10th edition of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier, which was known as the ICC Trophy until 2005. Previous winners of this tournament include Sri Lanka (1975), Zimbabwe (1982, 1986 and 1990), the UAE (1994), Bangladesh (1997), Netherlands (2001), Scotland (2005) and Ireland (2009).

The full schedule of matches can be found here.

The following releases will go out later this month:

23 Dec – Ten teams vie for the trophy at the 10th edition - ICC CWCQ trip down memory lane 
24 Dec – Former stars of the ICC CWCQ hail its significance
24 Dec – Former stars fondly recount ICC CWCQ memories
25 Dec – Canada, Hong Kong and Nepal captains expect titanic struggle
26 Dec – Scotland and UAE captains aim for return to ICC Cricket World Cup fold
30 Dec – Namibia, Netherlands and Uganda captains chase a dream
31 Dec – Kenya and PNG captains leaving no stone unturned in their preparations

Proposed schedule of releases that will go out in the lead up to the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2014 is:

1 Jan – Announcement of the umpires and match referees that will officiate
2 Jan – CWCQ coaches Aqib Javed, Paul Collingwood and Pubudu Dassanayake reveal different coaching strategies and philosophies
6 Jan – Preview of Group A
7 Jan –Preview of Group B
8 Jan – Preview of warm-up matches
9 Jan – Current players who featured in the 2009 edition looking ahead to the event
10 Jan – Round-up of warm-up matches
11 Jan – Overview of the social media and website coverage of the ICC CWCQ NZ 2014
11 Jan – Tournament preview 
12 Jan – ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier New Zealand 2014 player rankings
12 Jan – Team coaches preview the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier New Zealand 2014

The releases will be available here as well as the Online Media Zone.

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