ICC World Cricket League (WCL) | History, Structure, Schedule, Teams

ICC World Cricket League
ICC World Cricket League
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World Cricket League: The ICC created the World Cricket League (WCL) to give Associate and Affiliate countries regular one-day international cricket and a qualification path for the ICC World Cup Qualifier and from there to the World Cup.

Despite initial skepticism, it has proven an enormous success, allowing nations to rise to the top based on merit. Afghanistan’s fast rise from Division Five to Division One in less than two years is the finest example of this. The league had two important goals: to create a framework for all Associate Members to qualify for the Cricket World Cup and give these sides a chance to play international one-day matches against teams of comparable qualities.

The World Cricket league kicked off in 2007, with teams being divided into divisions depending on the 2007 World Cup qualification tournaments; the six inaugural clubs in Division One were the 2007 World Cup qualifiers. There were just five categories at this point. However, later the WCL had eight divisions. Until 2019, the WCL was a route to the Cricket World Cup. The WCL was superseded by the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 and the ICC Cricket World Cup Challenge League after the 2019 Division Two event. Teams were assigned to the two new leagues based on their final WCL standings.

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According to the ICC, the tournament is more than simply about the best Associate teams. It is a framework of five-division that allows teams of varying levels to play one-day cricket regularly against similarly ranked teams irrespective of the location. It would also ensure that the majority of the 91 ICC Associate and Affiliate members have access to the World Cup qualifying process.

Structure of the ICC World Cricket League

Structure of the ICC World Cricket League
Structure of the ICC World Cricket League

Based on past world rankings, the first league kicked off in 2007 with seven different tournaments spread over five worldwide divisions. By 2010, it has grown to eight distinct sections. The number of teams in each event fluctuated from six to twelve in the first cycle. With the second season’s introduction, the number of teams in each tournament was reduced to six, except Division 8, which had eight teams. The number of divisions has been decreased to only five from 2015.

One Day Rankings

ICC Non-Test Countries
ICC Non-Test Countries

To supplement the Test nations’ rankings in the list of ICC ODI Championship, the International Cricket Council rated non-Test countries from 11 to 30 in late 2005. The ranking was done based on the 2005 ICC Trophy and WCQS Division 2 competitions.

The opening stage of the worldwide World Cricket League was seeded using these rankings. Teams that stood in 11–16 were sent to Division 1, teams 17–20 to Division 2, and teams 21–24 to Division 3. The remaining teams were assigned to the top levels according to the respective qualifiers in the region.

Six affiliates were given One Day International status in 2005 and were based upon teams’ performance in the World Cup Qualifier. In 2017, Afghanistan and Ireland got elevated to “Full” status in a test match, leaving four-country associates holding ODI status: Scotland, the Netherlands, the United Arab Emirates, and Nepal as of mid-March 2018. The Netherlands has qualified for the 2020–22 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League after winning the 2015–17 ICC World Cricket League Championship.

The ICC established a rankings table for associate and affiliate members in May 2009, including global and regional placements. This was altered in 2016 to keep a worldwide ranking for only the best teams and a collection of regional lists for the rest.

2007 World Cricket League Division One

2007 World Cricket League Division One
2007 World Cricket League Division One

The 2007 ICC World Cricket League Division One played as the one-day international cricket competition held in Nairobi, Kenya, from January 29 to February 7, 2007. Division One is the top division of the World Cricket League and is the second level of cricket below the 10 Test-playing nations. It is the successor of the now-defunct ICC 6 Nations Challenge. This competition was a crucial warm-up for the 2007 Cricket World Cup, held in the West Indies in the month.

ICC World Cricket League 2019-2023

2019–2023 ICC Cricket World Cup Leagues 2
2019–2023 ICC Cricket World Cup Leagues 2

The 2019–2023 ICC Cricket World Cup Leagues 2 is the first season played under ICC Cricket World Cup League 2, a cricket event that is part of the 2023 Cricket World Cup qualification process. The tournament is currently on from August 2019 to February 2023, in One Day Internationals (ODIs) format. Each fixture set will compete in a tri-series. The top four teams from the 2019 ICC World Cricket League Division Two competition joined Scotland, Nepal, and the United Arab Emirates.

World Cricket League Schedule

World Cricket League Schedule
World Cricket League Schedule

The team that ranks at the top gets promoted to the CWC Super League in the future. The team that is ranked higher in the 2023 Cricket World Cup Qualifier than the top-ranked team in League 2, along with the 13th-ranked team during the ongoing 2020–2023 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, will lead the 13th spot for the upcoming Super League; the team ranking low will play in the successive League 2.

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic and travel restrictions to the United States, the sixth round of matches, which was slated to occur in Lauderhill, Florida, in April 2020, was postponed on March 13, 2020.

The ICC also declared that rounds seven and eight, which were due in Namibia and Papua New Guinea, respectively, have been postponed until March 24, 2020. The first round of matches took place in August 2019 at Aberdeen, Scotland.

The top three tournament teams will proceed to the Cricket World Cup Qualifier competition in 2023, while the four teams at the bottom will compete in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier Play-off in 2022.

World Cricket League Tournament Latest Schedule

On June 10, 2020, the ninth round of tournament fixtures took as the result of the postponed match, which was due in Scotland in July 2020. On July 23, 2020, the round 10 event took place, which was supposed to be in Namibia in September 2020.

The ICC revealed in February 2021 that six, seven, and eight rounds of their new schedule were also postponed. Round six was supposed to be held in Oman, and rounds seven and eight were held in Papua New Guinea. Round 8 has been delayed for November and December 2021 in Namibia. However, due to the discovery of a new COVID-19 variant in Southern Africa, only two matches were played before the other ties were postponed.

Teams in World Cricket League

Teams in World Cricket League
Teams in World Cricket League
  • Pakistan National Team
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Australian’s Men Cricket team
  • New Zealand National Cricket Team
  • Ireland Cricket Team
  • US National Cricket Team
  • Italy National Cricket Team
  • China National Cricket Team

Including these, there are many more teams played under World Cricket League by ICC.

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