The eagerly anticipated schedule for the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier has been revealed, setting the stage for an intense battle among the 10 participating teams. The event, set to take place in Zimbabwe from June 18 to July 9, 2023, will determine the two teams that secure coveted berths in the 2023 ODI World Cup in India, granting them nine guaranteed matches at cricket's prestigious ODI global showdown.
The 10 teams have been divided into two groups of five. Group A consists of hosts Zimbabwe, the West Indies, the Netherlands, Nepal, and the United States, while Group B comprises Sri Lanka, Ireland, Scotland, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates.
In the initial stage, each team will face the others in their respective group once. The top three teams from each group will advance to the Super Six stage, where they will compete against the teams they did not encounter in the group stage.
Notably, all points acquired in the group stage will carry over to the Super Six stage, except for those earned against teams that fail to progress. The two finalists from the Super Six stage will secure their spots in the highly anticipated ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2023.
Zimbabwe to host
The tournament will kick off with hosts Zimbabwe taking on Nepal on the opening matchday at Harare Sports Club, with Nepal aiming to qualify for the Men's Cricket World Cup for the first time. On the same day, two-time World Cup champions West Indies will clash against neighboring USA at Takashinga Cricket Club.
Group B action begins on June 19 in Bulawayo, featuring a face-off between 1996 World Cup champions Sri Lanka and the UAE at Queen's Sports Club. Meanwhile, Ireland will lock horns with Oman at Bulawayo Athletic Club.
The Netherlands will launch their campaign against Zimbabwe on June 20 at Harare Sports Club, while Scotland will face off against rivals Ireland in Bulawayo on June 21 at Queens Sports Club. The Super Six stage is scheduled to commence on June 29, and the bottom two teams from each group will compete in the Playoff stage.
DRS to debut at event
Adding to the excitement, the tournament will see the introduction of the Decision Review System (DRS) for all matches starting from the Super Six stage, marking a significant milestone for the event.
The Qualifier represents the culmination of four years of intense competition, bringing together the bottom five teams from the ICC Men's CWC Super League, three automatic qualifiers from the ICC Men's CWC League 2, and two teams that earned entry through the ICC Men's CWC Qualifier Play-off.
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