West Indies and Sri Lanka have been drawn in separate groups for the 2023 ODI World Cup qualifier, which will take place in Zimbabwe between June 18 and July 9. The ten-team event is made up of two groups of five, with hosts Zimbabwe, West Indies, Netherlands, Nepal and USA making up Group A, and Sri Lanka, Ireland, Scotland, Oman and UAE in Group B.
After initially only confirming the presence of third umpires to monitor run-outs, the ICC has announced that DRS will be in use from the Super Sixes phase of the competition.
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In the first round of the competition, each side will play the other teams in their group once. The top three from each group will then progress to the Super Sixes stage, where they will only play the sides they did not meet in the group stage. The points won in the group stage against the other qualifiers will carry over to Super Sixes. The two teams with the most points at the end of the Super Sixes stage will compete in the final, though the outcome of that contest is of no immediate consequence, since both finalists will qualify for the World Cup, to be held in India in October and November this year.
The two finalists will join hosts India, Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, defending champions England, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa, who qualified automatically through the World Cup Super League.
The five bottom-placed teams from the Super League – West Indies, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Netherlands – along with the top-three teams from the World Cup League 2 – Nepal, Oman and Scotland – and two teams from a qualifier playoff – USA and UAE – will compete in the qualifier.
Hosts Zimbabwe will take on Nepal while West Indies will face USA on the opening day at Harare Sports Club and Takashinga Cricket Club respectively.
The competition consists of 34 matches and will be played across four venues in Zimbabwe: Harare Sports Club and Takashinga Cricket Club in Harare, and Queen’s Sports Club and Bulawayo Athletic Club in Bulawayo.
This is the second time the World Cup qualifier is being played in Zimbabwe, after they also hosted the 2018 edition of the tournament. There, with some fixtures affected by rain, Zimbabwe and Scotland narrowly missed out on qualification to the 2019 World Cup while West Indies and Afghanistan progressed to the tournament. West Indies will now make a second successive appearance at the qualifying tournament, while Sri Lanka appear for the first time. Zimbabwe, Ireland, UAE, Netherlands, Scotland and Nepal also feature for the second time.