Challenge League groups announced for 2024-26 cycle

The twelve teams are divided into two group of six, with an extra promotion place available in each group for the second running

Images during the 2024 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Challenge League Play-Off Super Six Stage match between Tanzania and Italy held at Bayuemas Oval, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 01 March 2024 Photo by: Peter Lim / International Cricket Council RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE.

The ICC has revealed the distribution of teams across two groups for the 2024-2026 running of the Cricket World Cup Challenge League. The second running of the tournament features two groups of 6 teams, in the same format as the 2019-22 cycle, with each team playing 15 List A matches over three, annual, single-venue round-robin tournaments.

Team Changes

There’s been significant turnover in the teams competing in the first and second cycles of the tournament. At the top-end, Canada secured promotion to Cricket World Cup League 2, with Papua New Guinea relegated to take their place in the Challenge League.

More changes to the roster came at the recently concluded Challenge League Playoff. Here, three of the teams who competed in the 2019-22 cycle failed to retain their place on the Cricket World Cup ladder: Bermuda, Malaysia, and Vanuatu. In their place, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Tanzania were promoted to the Challenge League. Italy were the only side to rebound from the Challenge League Playoff after being relegated at the end of the 2019-22 campaign.

Groups and Seeding

The twelve teams are again divided into two groups of six. In Group A, Denmark, Jersey, Kenya, Kuwait, Papua New Guinea, and Qatar will battle it out over 15 matches each. Meanwhile Group B combines Bahrain, Hong Kong, Italy, Singapore, Tanzania, and Uganda.

The seeding for the tournament has not been determined by finishing position in the previous cycle, with both teams relegated from the World Cup Qualifier Playoff in Group A, and three of the four promoted teams from the Challenge League Playoff in Group B. Instead, T20I rankings appear to have been used to determine the seeding, for a 50-over tournament.

Venues and dates for each leg of the tournament have not been announced by the ICC at this stage, though it is expected that one leg of each group will take place in 2024, 2025 and 2026.

Changes to the ladder

Along with the shuffling of the participating teams, there is an additional promotion place available in each group for the 2024-26 cycle. The top two teams in each group will advance to the Cricket World Cup Qualifier Playoff, with that tournament expanding to eight teams. It is not yet clear if the runners-up in each group will be eligible for promotion to ODI status for the following cycle.

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