International Cricket Council. (File Photo)
GENEVA: The International Cricket Council (ICC), on Monday, announced the launch of the ODI Super League, which will determine qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup in 2023. The tournament will feature 12 full members and Netherlands and will begin with the England-Ireland ODIs.
In a bid to bring relevance to the ODI format that has been considered by many as the weakest of the three, the ICC, on Monday, announced the launch of the ODI Super League, which will serve as the pathway for teams to qualify for the 2023 World Cup that will be played in India.
In an official release, the ICC revealed that the ODI Super League will comprise 13 teams – 12 full members and Netherlands, who qualified by winning the ICC World Cricket Super League 2015-17 – and revealed that the league will see each side play four home and four away three-match series. The council further revealed that the top seven teams in the Super League will automatically book their place in the 50-over World Cup that will take place in India in 2023.
Geoff Allardice, ICC General Manager, announced the launch of the league and revealed that it will kick-start from the England-Ireland ODI series that will commence from July 30 at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
“We are delighted to get the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League underway with World Cup winners England against Ireland,” Allardice said in an official ICC release on Monday.
“The league will bring relevance and context to ODI cricket over the next three years, as qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 is at stake. The Super League gives cricket fans around the world even more reasons to watch as the drama of league cricket unfolds.”
“The decision last week to move the World Cup back to late 2023 gives us more time to schedule any games lost due to COVID-19 and preserve the integrity of the qualification process, meaning it will be decided on the field of play, which is important.”
Meanwhile, Eoin Morgan, skipper of England, and Andrew Balbirnie, skipper of Ireland, also gave their thoughts on the launch of the ODI Super League.
“We’re looking forward to playing cricket again and to the ICC Men’s World Cup Super League. Given the situation, it will be quite different to the last time we played at home, when we lifted the World Cup at Lord’s, but it’s nice to be starting our journey for the next edition of the tournament.
“I’m sure cricket fans all over the world will be excited to see white-ball cricket resume, and we’re looking forward to the challenge.
“Ireland are a talented team who have shown over the years that they can beat the best on their day. We look forward to what promises to be an interesting series,” said Morgan.
“It’s a privilege to be playing in the inaugural series of the ICC Men’s World Cup Super League. It is obviously going to be a huge challenge taking on the team that won the World Cup just a year ago, but we have prepared well and have taken confidence from our form over the early months of 2020.”
“What is important is that we are getting back on the field. I hope international cricket’s return is steady during these challenging times. I look forward to the Irish side putting on a good performance in the upcoming series as we start our campaign for World Cup qualification,” Ireland skipper Balbirnie said.
(With inputs from Agencies)