In what appears to be a misstep by Cricket Namibia, the draft matchups for CWC League 2 were released yesterday on the official CN Facebook page. The post has since been deleted.
The seven-team, all-ODI league will see each side play 36 matches over 9 double round-robin tri-series. It will run from July 2019 to late 2021.
The graphics – confirmed as being accurate, albeit still a draft – indicate the 30-month league will be broken up into three “seasons” where every side will host one series and play two away.
Questions remain as to where the Nepal and USA-hosted series will be played. Peter Della Penna from ESPN is of the opinion the majority of the USA matches will be played at the same venue as the recent T20 World Cup Qualifiers in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Nepal does not yet have any ODI/T20I approved venues, with both the TU Ground in Kirtipur, Kathmandu and the newly refurbished ground in Pokhara being mentioned as possible hosts. An international standard ground is under construction in Mulpani, also in Kathmandu, and should be completed within this year.
Namibia, Oman, USA and (after a miraculous set of results on the last day) PNG secured their spots in the new CWC League 2 with top four finishes at the recently concluded, and final, ICC World Cricket League Division Two.
They joined Scotland, UAE and Nepal who qualified for League 2 by virtue of their final positions in the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe last year.
The top three teams will take their places in the global qualifier for the 2023 World Cup.
Outside the crucial WCL2 top 4 were Canada and Hong Kong. They now slot into CWC Challenge Leagues A and B after finishing 5th and 6th, respectively.
Going on a previously retracted 2018 ICC release – which has since been confirmed by ICC to be correct, the two Challenge League groups stack up as follows – with current 50-over rankings per their most recent event finishes in brackets:
|Group A||Group B|
|Canada (19)||Hong Kong (20)|
|Singapore (21)||Kenya (22)|
|Denmark (23)||Uganda (24)|
|Malaysia (25)||Jersey (26)|
|Vanuatu (27)||Bermuda (28)|
|Qatar (29)||Italy (30)|
Each team will play 15 List A matches over three “WCL-style” events over a similar 2019-21 period as CWC League 2.
The league will consist of three World Cricket League-style single round-robin events held over a two year period beginning this August. Each team will play a total of 15 List A matches over the course of the league.
Each winner of the two Challenge League groups will join the bottom four from the CWC League in a play-off for the final two spots in the Cricket World Cup Qualifier in 2022.
The Netherlands will begin their campaign in the 13-team CWC Super League when it gets underway in July 2020.