Cricket World Cup pathway released

The International Cricket Council (ICC) yesterday released the schedule for the World Cup qualifiers that will be hosted by Zimbabwe starting March 4.

BY Kevin Mapasure

Zimbabwe have been separated from tournament favourites West Indies in the group stages of the tournament and have been pooled together with Afghanistan.

The other nations in Group B together with Zimbabwe include Scotland, Hong Kong and runners-up of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2.

The hosts will open the tournament on March 4 with a match against the associate qualifier at Queens Sports Club, where they will play all three of their four pool matches while the match against Scotland will be played at Bulawayo Athletic Club.

West Indies lead Group A, which will be based in Harare and have Ireland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea and winners of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2.

The teams will play each other in a round-robin format in the group stages with the top three qualifying for the Super Six stage.

The teams each play three Super Six matches against the sides they did not meet in the group stage.

Points won in the groups will be carried over to the Super Six stage apart from those gained against the bottom two from each group.

Points won in the groups will be carried over to the Super Six stage apart from those gained against the bottom two from each group.

The two finalists will win tickets to the 2019 World Cup finals that will be played in England from May 30 to July 15.


West Indies, Ireland, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe are the four full members that failed to get automatic qualification to the World Cup after failing to make it into the top eight of the ICC one-day international (ODI) rankings.

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has since started doing some work on the grounds that also include Old Hararians and Kwekwe Sports Club, which will both be used for some of the matches.

ZC board chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani was quoted as saying: “We are tremendously excited to be hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 event which will bring some of the world’s most talented and gifted cricketers to our beautiful country. As the very proud hosts, we are very passionate about what we do on and off the field and we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure we deliver an extraordinarily memorable tournament.

“While the ultimate goal for the teams involved will be to secure one of the two remaining berths at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales, tournaments such as the qualifier event always provide the platform for raw talent and unheralded players to emerge and this can only put the game of cricket in good stead.”

Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer said his team have a good chance of claiming one of the two berths.

“Zimbabwe have a great chance of qualifying, especially at home. But we are aware the tournament will have many good teams and even the associate sides can be very dangerous on their day. This means the tournament will be very tough, but if we play to our full potential I do not see an issue with us qualifying for the World Cup. In short, a thrilling tournament is on the cards.”

Zimbabwe’s path to the Super Six stage seems to be an easy one and their main threat in the early vetting stage is Afghanistan with whom they have exchanged blows in the last couple of years.

Afghanistan have enjoyed success against Zimbabwe before particularly in Bulawayo where conditions are quite favourable to them.

Last year, Zimbabwe lost 3-2 in an ODI series that was played at Harare Sports Club having previously lost by the same margin at Queens Sports Club.

Zimbabwe will be looking beyond the group stage and they know that if they can beat everyone in their group, they will give themselves a good platform in the testing Super Six stage where they will encounter West Indies and probably Ireland.

Beating Ireland on home soil has never been an issue for Zimbabwe so much that a win over Afghanistan will be key for Heath Streak’s men.

Afghanistan and Zimbabwe will play against each other in an ODI series before the World Cup qualifiers.

Cricket World Cup qualifiers draw

Group A: West Indies, Ireland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea and winners of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2.

Group B: Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, Scotland, Hong Kong and runners-up of the ICC World Cricket League Division 2.

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1 Comment

  1. mmmmm too bad for ZIM .here for being thrown in the same group with AFGHANISTAN,Our chances have been blocked

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