From regaining ODI status to making ODI Rankings, Canada's rise continues

Canada, who regained their ODI status last year, have now made it to the ICC Men’s ODI Team Rankings.

Canada, who regained their ODI status last year, have become officially placed in the ICC Men’s ODI Team Rankings again, after a gap of almost a decade.

After the ICC Annual Men's Team Rankings update on 1 May 2023, Canada were just outside the set-up, with four qualifying matches and a rating of 20.

They toured Nepal earlier this month to play three ODIs (which they lost) and are currently playing in the latest ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 cycle.

With their first match in the new cycle against the United Arab Emirates, Canada completed the required stipulation of playing a minimum of eight games in the ongoing cycle to enter the Men’s ODI rankings on Wednesday, 28 February.

Opting to bowl first, Canada restricted UAE to 194 on the back of an excellent spell of 4/42 by Kaleem Sana. They then chased down the total with the help of fifties from Srimantha Wijeyeratne and Nicholas Kirton, securing a three-wicket win.

Canada entered the Men's ODI Team Rankings at No.20, just below UAE.

The journey so far

Canada's cricketing journey has been an interesting one. Having become an Associate member of the ICC in 1968, Canada went on to play their first Men's ODI World Cup in 1979.

However, it took almost 25 years since then for them to play another World Cup in 2003.

With both ODI and T20I statuses to their name, Canada competed in the 2007 and 2011 ODI World Cups as well.

Canada's success was halted, however, after ICC introduced the new World Cricket League divisional structure. For Associate members, gaining ODI status requires finishing in the top six of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 tournament.

Teams that finish in the top two positions of this tournament gain permanent ODI status until the next ICC review.

Canada were among the lower run of teams in the 2014 ODI World Cup Qualifier and the 2015 World Cricket League Division Two tournament. They were relegated even further to ICC World Cricket League Division Three in 2017.

Their bid to get back the ODI status suffered when PNG pipped them in 2019 during the ICC World Cricket League Division Two tournament. Canada had the chance to leapfrog them into the top four, but needed to restrict USA to under 212 in their run-chase. However, in a dramatic finale, USA managed to reach 215/9 and knock their rivals out.

The North American side had to wait for four more years to have a crack at the elusive ODI status. During the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier Play-off last year, Canada finished above PNG, thrashing them by 90 runs in their final match and clinched the ODI status in style.

“Regaining the ODI status after nine long years is an outstanding achievement and a game-changing moment for Cricket Canada," Rashpal Bajwa, Cricket Canada President since 2020, told Emerging Cricket after the win.

“Promotion to the Cricket World Cup League 2 system ensures that a significant and high-quality number of international cricket matches will be played in Canada for the next four years. It allows us to plan for the long-term sustainable growth of the sport," he also added.

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What next

The first four teams at the end of League 2 progress to the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier, while the bottom four teams will have to battle it out in the Qualifier Play-offs to have a crack at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2027.

With the ODI staus and a fresh start, the sky is the limit for Canada as they will look to take another leap in their cricketing journey.

It will be a story for the ages if they manage to qualify for the next Men's ODI World Cup after 16 years.

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

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