ICC gives Kenya a lifeline

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Jan 29, 2022
  • Kenya finished third at the ICC World Cricket League Division two tournament in Namibia and risked missing top competition. (Photo Courtesy ICC)

After a poor show that saw them finish third in the just concluded ICC World Cricket League Division Two tournament in Namibia, Kenya has received a lifeline from ICC.

The ICC Board allowed Kenya to fill up two places in the ICC World Cricket League Championships.

The development came up after the ICC Board on Wednesday approved that Afghanistan and Ireland will join the 10 Full Members in the rankings-based qualification system for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

Kenya finished third behind Namibia and Netherlands in last week’s ICC WCL Division Two and risked stayion out of top competition for a long time.

However, Kenya will not play in the four-day, first-class ICC Intercontinental Cup 2015-17 because Ireland and Afghanistan are eligible to play.

The top eight-ranked sides on the Reliance ICC ODI Team Rankings as at 30 September 2021 will qualify automatically to the 2019 event, while the bottom four will play in the 10-team ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 that will determine the final two teams in the line-up.

As a result, Afghanistan and Ireland will no longer play in the ICC World Cricket League Championship, the ICC’s one-day competition for the leading Associate and Affiliate sides.

Kenya and Nepal who finished fourth will join Hong Kong, Namibia, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland and the United Arab Emirates in the two-year competition, which is scheduled to start in mid-2015.

Promotion and relegation system 

The new structure also includes a promotion and relegation system for Associate and Affiliate Members, with a challenge series to take place between the lowest-ranked Associate Member on the Rankings table and the winner of the ICC World Cricket League Championship.

The winner of the play-off will be included on the Rankings table for the next cycle, and the loser will compete in the ICC World Cricket League Championship.

David Richardson, the ICC Chief Executive explained: “Both Afghanistan and Ireland have excelled on and off the field in recent years, and this decision is a critical step forward to the ICC’s aim of having more competitive teams in international cricket.

“The decision also provides even greater context to One-Day International cricket, and provides a fully meritocratic pathway into ICC’s Cricket World Cup and Champions Trophy events. It also compliments the recent decision by the ICC Board to introduce opportunities for Associate and Affiliate Members to play Test cricket through the ICC Intercontinental Cup and ICC Test Challenge.

“With a system of promotion and relegation in place, I look forward to seeing the leading Associate and Affiliate teams become even more competitive as they battle for the opportunity to compete at the very highest level of one-day cricket.”