Ten sides are battling it out in Zimbabwe to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019. This is how the competition works.
There are still two places up for grabs for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 and from 4-25 March, 10 nations will go head-to-head for the opportunity to join the eight sides already pencilled in.
England, Australia, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh have already qualified for the World Cup, on account of being the top eight sides in the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings at the cut-off date of 30 September 2017.
Now 10 teams will be whittled down to two to complete the line-up for ICC’s pinnacle 50-over tournament, which takes place in England and Wales from 30 May to 15 July 2019.
Here is everything you need to know about the Qualifier.
Zimbabwe, Windies, Afghanistan, Ireland, Scotland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong, Nepal and the United Arab Emirates are the sides vying to qualify.
Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo
Bulawayo Athletic Club, Bulawayo
Harare Sports Club, Harare
Old Hararians Sports Club, Harare
Kwekwe Sports Club, Kwekwe
There will be a total of 34 matches played across the five venues in Zimbabwe, culimating in the final at the Harare Sports Club.
The 10 teams will be split into two groups, with every side playing each other once before the top three teams progress to the Super Sixes stage.
|Group A||Group B|
|Papua New Guinea||Afghanistan|
|United Arab Emirates||Hong Kong|
Once through to the Super Sixes stage, each side will play three matches against the teams they did not meet in the group stage, with all points previously won in the groups carried over, apart from those gained against the bottom two sides from each group.
The top two sides will then both qualify for the World Cup in 2019, with the final simply deciding who finishes first and second.
More to play for
While qualification for the World Cup is the main prize on offer, there is another incentive for sides to perform well.
The Netherlands, who won the ICC World Cricket League Championship, and the three highest-finishing Associate Members will also earn ODI status until 2022 at the end of the tournament.
That means only matches between Afghanistan, Ireland, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, the Windies, Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates will have ODI status in the qualifier.