ICC Men's CWC League 2 begins with tri-series in Nepal
New Delhi, Feb 13 : The ICC Men's Cricket World Cup League 2 begins in Kirtipur on Thursday with Namibia, the Netherlands and hosts Nepal featuring in the first of 24 tri-series that will take four teams to the brink of qualifying for the 2027 ODI World Cup which will be played in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
Run through a similar format to the inaugural edition from 2019 to 2023, the competition moves from a seven-team format to an eight-team competition, via 24 tri-series of six matches each, ICC reports.
Canada, Oman, Scotland, the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America are the other teams in the eight-team league that will comprise 144 matches in the lead up to the World Cup Qualifier.
Teams were placed in the World Cup League 2 and the Qualifier Play-Offs, based on the previous World Cup Qualification cycle.
The top four teams from League 2 will make it to the World Cup Qualifier. They will be joined in the Qualifier by four teams coming through the Qualifier Play-Offs as well as teams that don't qualify automatically based on ICC ODI Rankings.
The top four teams in the Qualifier, a highly competitive event that saw two-time world champions West Indies knocked out last time, will join 10 direct qualifiers in the World Cup.
Co-hosts South Africa and Zimbabwe and the other top eight ranked teams will complete the 14-team World Cup lineup.
ICC Head of Events Chris Tetley highlighted the importance of League 2 in the development of teams. "The League 2 fixtures are a very important part of our cricket calendar because not only do they provide a pathway to the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2027 but also provide a programme of highly competitive cricket around which teams can plan their calendars.
"Several of the teams playing in League 2 will also be featuring in this year's Men's T20 World Cup in the USA and the West Indies. The League 2 series provide Members with the opportunity to schedule T20I fixtures around their 50 over matches, providing an excellent opportunity to prepare for the World Cup in the T20 format."