The United States of America (USA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have secured a place at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier after finishing in the top two places of an evenly contested, six-team ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier Play-off.
USA finished on top of the table with four wins from their five matches, ahead of the UAE on head-to-head, who scored a final-day win over Jersey to level the USA on points. Hosts Namibia and Canada put in some strong performances but fell just short of progressing with three wins each from their five fixtures.
Namibia’s Gerhard Erasmus was named Player of the Tournament, with 279 runs in five games at an average of 69.75. USA’s Ali Khan topped the wicket charts with 16 wickets at an average of 12.37.
The USA and UAE are now just one stage away from securing a guaranteed nine matches at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 that will be hosted in India later this year.
USA captain Monank Patel said: “It’s a great feeling to be able to progress to the Qualifiers in Zimbabwe, even though we see this as a big accomplishment for USA Cricket, we the players also know that it’s going to require lots of improvements for us to compete with the bigger teams. The players and support staff has worked tirelessly prior and during this event, and the hard work paid off. As I said prior to the play-offs, we have an opportunity to play in two World Cups in less than twelve months, and this group continues to believe and work towards that goal.”
UAE captain Mohammad Waseem said: “We are absolutely delighted to confirm our spot for the qualifiers in Zimbabwe. Heading into the tournament in Namibia, we had a clear objective of delivering our best and playing positive and fearless cricket. I want to thank the players and our entire support staff for their untiring efforts that have resulted in our success.
“Our batters have been exceptional for us recently and the bowlers and fielders have backed them up really well. The entire team needs to perform at the same level and display the same commitment and passion for us to excel in Zimbabwe.”
To reach the pinnacle global event of One-Day International cricket, USA and UAE will be vying with eight other teams in Zimbabwe for two places. These will include the three automatic qualifiers from ICC CWC League 2 – Scotland, Oman and Nepal – in addition to the bottom five-placed teams in the ICC ODI Super League.
Currently, Netherlands, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies are confirmed to feature at the Qualifier in Zimbabwe, while Ireland must beat Bangladesh 3-0 in their upcoming Super League series to leapfrog South Africa and gain direct entry to the World Cup.
The Qualifier will be the culmination of four years of hard-fought competition where 32 teams started out in search of a place at what will be the biggest ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup ever.
Source : ICC