Rohit Paudel Vriitya Aravind

Eight-team CWC League 2 begins in Nepal on the road to 2027

The road to the Cricket World Cup for 2027 begins in Nepal through the first tri-series of a new Cricket World Cup League 2 cycle.

Run through a similar format to the inaugural edition from 2019 to 2023, the competition moves from a seven-team format to an eight-team competition, via 24 tri-series of six matches each in a total of 144 ODIs.

All matches in the Cricket World Cup League 2 pathway will be available live and free to view on (in select regions).

Nepal prevail against UAE to seal CWC Qualifier berth | Match Highlights

Automatic spots for the Cricket World Cup Qualifier are up for grabs via a top four finish in League 2, a minimum goal for all eight teams looking to succeed in a World Cup run.

A bottom four finish in League 2 does not eliminate teams from Cricket World Cup qualification, though it does mean the added jeopardy of taking part in the Cricket World Cup Qualifier Play-off, effectively a repechage tournament also including the top four teams from the Cricket World Cup Challenge League, the third tier of international 50-over cricket.

While a strong performance at the Play-off can elevate a team back into Cricket World Cup contention via the Qualifier, there is also a risk of a poor showing from a League 2 side leading to a demotion to the Challenge League. This was the cruel fate for Papua New Guinea in the last cycle, who finished last in League 2 before a last-place finish in the Play-off.

Netherlands chase down Scotland to snatch World Cup berth | CWC23 Qualifier

Netherlands and Scotland played out a tense clash with a ticket to India on the line in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023

Six teams return to League 2 after featuring in the last edition, with two new teams entering the fray. Led by wicket-keeper batter Scott Edwards, Cricket World Cup 2023 head-turners Netherlands carry the early favourites tag coming down, while Canada were promoted to the competition after finishing above Jersey and Papua New Guinea in the Qualifier Play-off early last year.

Canada defeat spirited Jersey in Qualifier Play-Off | Match Highlights

Canada defeat spirited Jersey in Qualifier Play-Off | Match Highlights | Cricket World Cup 2023 Qualifier Play-Off

Associate international cricket is not short of storylines, with the Dutch potentially coming back to haunt defending League 2 champions Scotland. It was the Scots who had their potential Cricket World Cup 2023 place by the Dutch on Net Run Rate, with Bas de Leede's starring individual performance fresh in the memory. The Scots will be in the mix for the top four and tournament honours again, with Zeeshan Maqsood’s Oman looking to go one better from their second-place in the last cycle.

Bas de Leede propels Netherlands into World Cup with match-winning knock | CWC23 Qualifier

Netherlands all-rounder Bas de Leede backs up his five-wicket haul with a stirring century against Scotland at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023

Hosting the Dutch and Namibia in the first tri-series, Nepal come off a strong preparation series win over Canada, and captain Rohit Paudel says he’s looking forward to future challenges across both white ball formats.

“We are pleased to be hosting the first tri-series of what promises to be a well-contested League 2 with several talented sides in the fray,” Poudel began.

“These are exciting times for us with the Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 less than four months away and our qualification campaign starting for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2027.

“We are heartened and more confident after a 3-0 win over Canada in the just concluded series and hope to get off to a fine start in League 2 with this home Tri-series.”

Namibia will be looking for a revenge of sorts in their meetings with Nepal, as it was Nepal’s historic ODI run, winning 12 of their last 13 ODIs in the last League 2 cycle, that curtailed Gerhard Erasmus' men to the Play-off competition, where they missed out on entry into the Qualifier.

Elsewhere, the USA return after finishing fifth in the last League 2 cycle, while the UAE held onto their spot in the competition despite running in second-last.

Muhammad Waseem’s side kept their spot by finishing above Jersey and Papua New Guinea at the Qualifier Play-off.

Asif Khan hammers an unbeaten 151 for UAE against USA | CWC23 Qualifier

Asif Khan powered UAE to a commanding total against the USA at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023

First League 2 Tri-series (featuring Nepal, Namibia and The Netherlands)

15 February: Nepal v Namibia
17 February: Nepal v Netherlands
19 February: Namibia v Netherlands
21 February: Nepal v Namibia
23 February: Namibia v Netherlands
25 February: Nepal v Netherlands

All matches at the Tribhuvan University Ground, Kirtipur

League 2 Teams

United Arab Emirates

Men's NewsNewsICC Cricket World Cup League 2 23-27