What is the World Cricket League Championship?
It is the premier limited-overs competition organised by the ICC for teams immediately below the top 12 ODI sides in the world. The tournament takes place over a three year cycle, and eight sides play each other twice in round-robin league format. The current edition started in 2015 and is about to come to a close this week.
What happens next?
The top four teams in this league get to play the qualifier for the 2019 World Cup, which is to be held in March-April 2018. The bottom four teams are relegated to Division Two of the World Cricket League, where they will join Canada and Oman. These six teams, in turn, will fight for the last two spots in the World Cup qualifier.
So, who has advanced to the World Cup qualifier?
Netherlands have already won the World Cricket League Championship and will advance to the World Cup qualifier, along with Hong Kong, Scotland and Papua New Guinea. They join West Indies, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, and Ireland, the four lowest-ranked sides on the ICC ODI championship table.
What’s the big deal with Netherlands winning this tournament?
Netherlands, who had lost their ODI status three years ago after a disappointing performance in the 2015 World Cup qualifier, will now get to be part of the 13-member ICC ODI League, starting soon after the 2019 World Cup. It comprises the twelve Test-playing nations, including Ireland and Afghanistan, and will bring Netherlands far more bilateral ODIs against top ten sides than at any point in their entire history.
Who are the others battling for a place in the World Cup qualifier?
Kenya, Nepal, UAE and Namibia are the four sides which have been relegated from the WCL Championship to Division Two. They will now vie for the remaining two places in the World Cup qualifier, along with Canada and Oman.
When and where will these Division Two games take place?
In Namibia, in February 2018, right before the World Cup qualifiers in March.