Ten teams go head to head in the 20-day tournament to be played at seven venues across New Zealand, with final at Lincoln on 1 February
The ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier New Zealand 2014 (CWCQ) gets under way on Monday 13 January, with 10 of the leading Associate and Affiliate sides in the world vying for the final two qualification spots in the ICC’s pinnacle event, the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 (CWC).
The 10 sides taking part in the ICC CWCQ NZ 2014, formerly known as the ICC Trophy, have been split into two groups of five teams each, with top ranked United Arab Emirates (UAE) in Group A alongside 2005 winner Scotland, 2009 finalist Canada, Hong Kong and Nepal. Group B includes 2001 champion Netherlands, two-time finalist Kenya, 2001 finalist Namibia, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Uganda.
The top three sides from each group will progress to the Super Six stage, where they will play the teams from the opposing group. The top two sides from this stage will progress to the 1 February final, which will beplayed at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln.
The finalists will join the 10 Full Members as well as Afghanistan and Ireland in the ICC CWC in Australia and New Zealand, which will be played from 14 February to 29 March 2015.
The winner of the 1 February final will join co-hosts Australia and New Zealand, alongside Afghanistan, Bangladesh, England and Sri Lanka in Pool A, while the runner-up will team up with defending champion India, Ireland, Pakistan, South Africa, West Indies and Zimbabwe in Pool B.
Afghanistan will participate as fifth team in Asia Cup 2014. The decision comes as a result of meetings between Afghanistan Cricket Board management and the cricket boards of India (BCCI) and Sri Lanka (SLC).Afghanistan National Cricket Team will join Asia’s 4 test playing nation – Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka & India in Asia Cup 2014 which is going to start from 25th February in Bangladesh.
The fast-improving Afghanistan team, which has qualified for their maiden appearance in the 50-over World Cup 2015, have also made it to their third successive World Twenty20 in 2014.
Dr Noor Mohammad Murad, CEO of the Afghanistan Cricket Board, said in Kabul on Saturday, “We are grateful that the Asian Cricket Council recommended Afghanistan’s participation in the Asian Cup 2014.We are even more thrilled that India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have agreed to our participation.” He added “Win or lose the experience we gain will be very important for us and will have tremendous value for our players.”
Afghanistan’s addition to the competition will lead to changes in the tournament schedule and may extend the competition by some days.