EXPLAINER: If you thought the Black Caps’ ODI series against Sri Lanka, which begins this weekend, had little meaning, you’re only partially right.

In fact, Saturday’s opening game in Auckland is absolutely crucial for the tourists.

In order to secure direct qualification for this year’s World Cup in India (October/November), Sri Lanka must not lose a game against the Black Caps in the three-game series.

Anything but a 3-0 or 2-0 (at Rain). ruins a game) Victory for Sri Lanka will have them sweating on the results of some other teams if they don’t have to go through the Cricket World Cup qualifiers to make it the global over-50 showcase.

* NZ stars Devine, Conway, Phillips and Bracewell were drafted into the Hundred
* “Sick” innings that all black caps Glenn Phillips needed to propel the case of the World Championship
* Lockie Ferguson from the Black Caps’ first ODI against Sri Lanka with a hamstring injury

Here’s how things are shaping up ahead of the series launch at Eden Park:

What on earth is this ICC Cricket World Cup Super League?

Don’t feel too bad if you don’t have a clue, even Black Caps bowling coach Shane Jurgensen admitted he was “surprised” when asked this week about his side’s performance in the rather muddled competition .

It is an ODI league, similar to the World Test Championship, established to determine the 10 teams that will compete in the 2023 World Championship.

Ricky Wilson/Stuff

Children whose lives have been impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle meet Black Caps stars.

It is made up of 13 countries – the 12 full member states plus the Netherlands, who earned their spot by winning the 2015-17 World Cricket League Championship.

Each of the 13 was drawn to play against eight other teams (four home, four away) in three-game series, earning 10 points for each game won and five for a draw.

The league was scheduled to take place from May 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022, although the deadline has been extended to May 15, 2023 due to Covid-19.

How does the World Cup qualification work?

India, as the host, will receive an automatic entry. They are then joined by the seven best other teams after the conclusion of the Super League.

The bottom five teams in the Super League then have to compete in Zimbabwe in June/July in World Cup qualifiers.

This will be a 10-team competition that will also include Nepal, Oman and Scotland, plus two from Canada, Jersey, Namibia, Papua New Guinea, the United Arab Emirates and the United States.

The two best teams of these 10 will then take the last two places at the World Cup.

Okay, how about the Super League table?

Feast your eyes on this beautiful image, courtesy of Wikipedia.

The (Q) shows which teams have already qualified for the World Cup and the (A) shows which teams are guaranteed to advance to qualification. The ‘Ded[uction]’ column refers to teams having one point deducted for each over they finish behind the required over rates at the end of the games.

How the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League is shaping up ahead of the Black Caps v Sri Lanka series.


How the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League is shaping up ahead of the Black Caps v Sri Lanka series.

While all teams should play a total of eight series and 24 games, thanks to some cancellations not all will.

South Africa were due to play Australia in January but pulled out in what appeared to be a calculated game regarding their potential qualification as their new T20 league was taking place around the same time and no other dates could be found in a packed calendar.

The other three canceled series were all in Afghanistan and were all scheduled for this month. Australia pulled out of touring over Taliban restrictions on women’s and girls’ rights; Pakistan chose to play there, but as both teams were already qualified for the World Cup, T20 was chosen instead; and Afghanistan’s home series against India was scrapped from the calendar.

It is understood that the 30 competition points for each of these canceled series will be added upon completion of the Super League. That means Australia will get 30 and Afghanistan 60, while it’s unclear how the points will be split between Afghanistan and India.

Not that all of this really matters, as all of these sites have already qualified and it is clear that the ICC will not respond to an email request from either Thingsthat there is no trophy or prize money to be won by landing at the top of the ladder.

Which dates are still pending?

Zimbabwe and the Netherlands will face off in their third ODI on Saturday night in Harare, but both are already set to qualify.

Following the Black Caps vs. Sri Lanka series – which after Saturday at Eden Park is moved to Christchurch’s Hagley Oval next Tuesday and concludes next Friday at Hamilton’s Seddon Park – there are two games between South Africa and the Netherlands at the Centurion (31 March and 2 March). . April). These are catch-ups from their November 2021 Covid hit streak before Ireland ‘host’ Bangladesh in Chelmsford in May to round out the league.

Sri Lanka were competitive against the Black Caps in the first Test, can they take it from them in the ODIs now?

Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Sri Lanka were competitive against the Black Caps in the first Test, can they take it from them in the ODIs now?

So the West Indies, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Ireland appear to be engaged in dogfights?

You bet. This quartet is fighting for the all-important eighth and last direct World Cup qualification spot.

The West Indies, who have played all their series, are hugely vulnerable, as if South Africa won their two games against the Netherlands – who, one must recall, blew them away at last year’s T20 World Cup – they would at the Windies jump by , to 98 points.

Ireland can also go to 98 with a win over Bangladesh, and it’s worth noting that the net run rate is used to break up teams that finish level on points (and have the same number of wins).

That leaves Sri Lanka with a magic number target of 99 for safety reasons. At 77 currently, that means even two wins (10 points each) against the Black Caps isn’t enough and they need either another win or a clean sheet (five points).

Sri Lanka coach Chris Silverwood will need his team to cheer on the ODIs in New Zealand.

Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

Sri Lanka coach Chris Silverwood will need his team to cheer on the ODIs in New Zealand.

But even if Sri Lanka misses direct qualifiers, they would still dominate qualifiers, right?

Don’t count on it. There would be stiff competition from the Windies or the Proteas (possibly both) for the two berths offered.

Then there’s Zimbabwe, who would play on their home turf, an improving Dutch side who have gone head-to-head with Zimbabwe in their recent run, and possibly the dangerous Irish.

And that’s not forgetting the other five non-fledged teams who will be absolutely thrilled to make it big.

This Super League sounds fascinating, when does the next one start?

In the words of the great Bill Lawry, “Goooooone”.

Yes, after just one run of the championship, or even just halfway through, it got the flick.

After a board meeting in November 2021, the ICC decided that given the expansion of the World Cup to 14 teams for 2027 and 2031, they would instead use the world rankings to determine qualification.

Officially, no reason was given for the decision, but it is likely due to full member nations’ fears of potentially missing out on the World Cup.

Whilst the expansion will allow associated countries automatic spots in the Over 50s showpiece, without fixed fixture schedules set by the Super League they will not have the regular chance to improve against the top teams and this is possible with full members To manipulate schedules at will, bilateral ODI cricket between the World Cup and Champions Trophy events becomes more meaningless.


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