The International Cricket Council (ICC) recently introduced the Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League which basically acts as a qualifier for the Men’s 50 overs World Cup to be held in India in 2023. The ICC is continuously trying to make bilateral international cricket more meaningful and this move will certainly make every match in any series important and there will no more dead rubbers in international cricket.
Last year, the ICC introduced the Test Championship and in 2020, the Cricket World Cup Super League. This tells us that the ICC isn’t shy of taking steps to ensure that cricket lovers get exactly what they deserve; high-quality competitive cricket. Let us understand in detail what the Cricket World Cup Super League is.
UNDERSTANDING THE STRUCTURE
There will be a total of 13 teams who will be a part of this Super League. Out of these, 12 are going to compete in the Super League to get a chance of qualifying for the 2023 Cricket World Cup. India being the host nation is already qualified in the tournament, hence it doesn’t matter where they finish in the Super League table. The tournament will be divided into two phases.
The 13 teams will play 24 matches each. These include the 12 Full-Member nations, alongside the Netherlands, who earned their place as the 13th team by winning the ICC World Cricket League Championship back in 2017. The teams have to play four home series and four away series. According to the rankings at the end of the Super League, the top seven teams along with host nation India will directly qualify for the 2023 World Cup.
The bottom five teams will play with five associate nations in the actual World Cup qualifiers post the completion of the Super League Phase 1. The two finalists will then join the already qualified eight teams for the 2023 Men’s Cricket World Cup.
THE NEED FOR THIS LEAGUE
The Super League has already kicked off with Ireland’s tour of England earlier this month. There has always been a concern about nations like Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Ireland and Netherlands, that they don’t get to play the so-called bigger teams in bilateral series and only come up against them in ICC tournaments. So this format will ensure that these teams get an equal opportunity to test their mettle against the best teams in the world and in a way, improve their own game.
Another big concern was that bilateral ODI series for the longest time had no context to them. In a way, results didn’t matter to the teams and we were coming across a lot of dead rubbers as a consequence. What this move will do is eradicate dead rubbers as there will be championship points at stake every time a team plays an ODI.
HOW DOES THE POINT SYSTEM WORK?
Each team gets 10 points for a win, five for a tie/ no result/ abandoned match and zero for a loss. The teams will play only three-match series in the Super League and in case of a four or a five-match series, only three pre-decided matches will be considered for the allotment of points. Not all the ODI series will fall under this Super League. Teams can play bilateral series outside of the Super League as well.
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