Hosts Zimbabwe will be one of the teams playing on the opening Day of the World Cup Qualifiers, which gets underway on March 4, the ICC announced on Monday (January 15). Two time World Cup holders Windies, who failed to earn a direct qualification for the main event in 2019, will be playing their opening qualification game on March 6.
Apart from Windies and Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland were the other teams with full ODI status that failed to earn a direct berth on account of finishing outside the top eight in the ICC ODI rankings at the 30 September 2017 cut-off date. World Cricket League champions Netherlands and runners-up Papua New Guinea were joined by Hong Kong and Scotland in the qualifiers after finishing as the top four teams in the WCL.
The outcome of the WCL Division 2 is awaited to determine the two other sides that will complete the 10-team line up for the World Cup Qualifiers. The finalists of the six-team tournament to be held in Namibia from February 8-15, which involves Canada, Kenya, Namibia, Nepal, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, will make it through to the Qualifiers.
The ten teams in the Qualifiers are split into two groups – Windies, Ireland, the Netherlands, Papua New Guinea and winners of WCL Div. 2 make up Group A while Zimbabwe, Afghanistan, Scotland, Hong Kong and the runners-up of WCL Div. 2 are part of Group B. After facing each other once in their respective groups, the top three from each group will qualify for the Super 6 stage.
During the Super Sixes, the teams will play three games each and play against those teams they didn’t face in the group phase. The teams will carry over points from the group stage, apart from those earned against the bottom two teams. The teams that finish in the top two at the end of the Super Sixes will qualify for the World Cup apart from playing the final, which is scheduled on March 25. Meanwhile, the three highest finishing Associate sides will join Netherlands in gaining ODI status until 2022.
Only those Qualifiers matches featuring Afghanistan, Ireland, Hong Kong, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Windies, Zimbabwe and UAE (if they qualify from WCL Div. 2) will have ODI status.
Queen’s Sports Club and Bulawayo Athletic Club in Bulawayo, Harare Sports Club and Old Hararians Sports Club in Harare and Kwekwe Sports Club, Kwekwe, will host the 34 World Cup Qualifiers matches, with Harare Sports Club scheduled to host the final.
Group A: Windies (A1); Ireland (A2); Netherlands (A3); Papua New Guinea (A4); ICC World Cricket League Division 2 (WCL Div.2) winner (A5)
Group B: Afghanistan (B1); Zimbabwe (B2); Scotland (B3); Hong Kong (B4); ICC World Cricket League Division 2 (WCL Div.2) runners-up (B5)
Tuesday, 27 February – Afghanistan v Windies, Harare Sports Club (HSC); Hong Kong v Netherlands, Old Hararians (OH); WCL Div.2 (winner) v WCL Div.2 (runners-up), Kwekwe (KK); Zimbabwe v Ireland, Queen’s Sports Club (QSC); Scotland v PNG, Bulawayo Athletic Club (BAC)
Thursday, 1 March – WCL Div.2 (winners) v Windies, Harare Sports Club (HSC); Afghanistan v Netherlands, Old Hararians (OH); Hong Kong v WCL Div.2 (runners-up), Kwekwe (KK); Scotland v Ireland, Queen’s Sports Club (QSC); Zimbabwe v PNG, Bulawayo Athletic Club (BAC)
Tournament Proper (first round):Sunday, 4 March – PNG v WCL Div.2 winner, HSC; Ireland v Netherlands, OH; Zimbabwe v WCL Div.2 (runners-up), Queens Sports Club (QSC); Afghanistan v Scotland, BAC
Tuesday, 6 March – PNG v Ireland, HSC; Windies v WCL Div.2 (winner), OH; Zimbabwe v Afghanistan, QSC; Scotland v Hong Kong, BAC
Thursday, 8 March – Netherlands v WCL Div.2 (winner), HSC; Windies v PNG, OH; Scotland v WCL Div.2 (runners-up), QSC; Afghanistan v Hong Kong, BAC
Saturday, 10 March – Windies v Ireland, HSC; PNG v Netherlands, OH; Zimbabwe v Hong Kong, QSC; Afghanistan v WCL Div.2 (runners-up), BAC
Monday, 12 March – Windies v Netherlands, HSC; Ireland v WCL Div.2 (winners), OH; Hong Kong v WCL Div.2 (runners-up), QSC; Zimbabwe v Scotland, BAC
Super Sixes:Thursday, 15 March – A1 v B1, HSC; A3 v B3, QSC; A5 v B4 (play-off), OH; A4 v B5 (play-off), KK
Friday, 16 March – A2 v B2, HSC
Saturday, 17 March – 9th/10th position play-off, OH; 7th/8th position play-off, KK
Sunday, 18 March – A2 v B3, HSC
Monday, 19 March – A1 v B2, HSC
Tuesday, 20 March – A3 v B1, HSC
Thursday, 22 March – A1 v B3, HSC; A3 v B2, OH
Friday, 23 March – A2 v B1, HSC
Sunday, 25 March – FINAL, HSC