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 within one step of qualifying for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2027 to be played in South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia.
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.
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.
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 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.
ICC Head of Events Chris Tetley: “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. I wish all the players the very best in what promises to be a very closely fought league.”
Nepal captain Rohit Paudel was enthusiastic about the upcoming few months as his team prepared to play their first League 2 series at home.
Nepal captain Rohit Paudel: ““We are pleased to be hosting the first tri-series of what promises to be a well-contested League 2 with several talented sides in the fray.
“These are exciting times for us with the Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 less than four months away and our qualification campaign starting for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2027.
“We are heartened and more confident after a 3-0 win over Canada in the just concluded series and hope to get off to a fine start in League 2 with this home Tri-series.”
Fixtures of Tri-Series in Nepal:
15 Feb: Nepal vs Namibia
17 Feb: Nepal vs Netherlands
19 Feb: Namibia vs Netherlands
21 Feb: Nepal vs Namibia
23 Feb: Namibia vs Netherlands
25 Feb: Nepal vs Netherlands
The Associate Member Future Tours Programme (2024-27) encompassing all World Cup league 2 fixtures is available here.