With four places up for grabs in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, the top eight Associate and Affiliate sides go head to head in the latest round of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Championship in June and July.
In June, Namibia will travel to Nairobi to challenge Kenya, while in July, Scotland will host Canada in Aberdeen, the Netherlands and the UAE will square-off against each other in Rotterdam and co-favourites Ireland and Afghanistan will face-off in Dublin.
Ireland and Scotland currently share the lead on the WCL Championship table with eight points each, but the Scots have played one less round. The UAE is occupying third position on six points from two rounds, the Netherlands, Kenya and Afghanistan are sitting on four points each while Namibia and Canada are yet to open their account.
The WCL – including the Championship and the ongoing global divisions – is an important event structure on the calendar of the ICC Development Programme as it provides a dual pathway for all Associate and Affiliate Members to qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) 2015 to be staged in Australia and New Zealand.
The top two teams from the WCL Championship will automatically join ICC’s 10 Full Members in the ICC CWC 2015. The bottom six teams then join teams from WCL Divisions 2 and 3 in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier (CWCQ) in early 2014, where the final two qualifiers will be determined.
Except for Afghanistan, which will open its tour of Ireland with the WCL Championship matches, the matches between Kenya and Namibia*, Scotland and Canada and the UAE* and the Netherlands will be played at the back of ICC’s four-day first-class ICC Intercontinental Cup 2011-2013 matches.
Former champion Ireland leads the ICC Intercontinental Cup points table with 54 points from three matches, followed up Scotland (36 points from three matches) while the UAE and defending champion Afghanistan share the third spot on 23 points each.
The fixtures are as follows:
Kenya v Namibia
6-9 June – ICC Intercontinental Cup, Gymkhana, Nairobi
11 June – WCL Championship, 50-Over, Gymkhana, Nairobi
13 June – WCL Championship, 50-Over, Gymkhana, Nairobi
15 June – Twenty20, Gymkhana, Nairobi
16 June –Twenty20, Gymkhana, Nairobi
Scotland v Canada
4-7 July – ICC Intercontinental Cup, Mannofield CC, Aberdeen
9 July – WCL Championship, ODI, Mannofield CC, Aberdeen
11 July – WCL Championship, ODI, Mannofield CC, Aberdeen
Netherlands v UAE
16-19 July – ICC Intercontinental Cup, Salland CC, Deventer
21 July – WCL Championship, 50-Over, VOC, Rotterdam
23 July - WCL Championship, 50-Over, VOC, Rotterdam
24 July – Twenty20, VOC, Rotterdam (T20 on 24 July will only be played if Reserve Day for 23 July 50-Over WCL Championship match not required)
25 July – Twenty20, VOC, Rotterdam
Ireland v Afghanistan
3 July – WCL Championship, ODI, Clontarf CC, Dublin
5 July – WCL Championship, ODI, Clontarf CC, Dublin
9-12 July – ICC Intercontinental Cup,The Hills CC (TBC), Dublin
*Matches between Kenya-Namibia and UAE-Netherlands will not be classified as ODIs as Namibia and the UAE don’t have ODI status