Zimbabwe is going to host the upcoming ICC World Cup qualifier 2018 which will run through March 4 and March 25 respectively as five venues will host overall 34 matches in the space of 21 days.

The five venues are in the form of Bulawayo Athletic Club (BAC), followed by Harare Sports Club (HSC), Queen’s Sports Club (QSC), Kwekwe Sports Club (KSC) and Old Hararians Sports Club (OSC) of Harare.

It’s pertinent to mention that ten teams would be fighting it out in the One-day competition as the Windies team would be the focus of attention in a bid to seal the spot for the 2019 ICC World Cup.

Interestingly, the coveted tournament stands exactly 500 days away as of now.

Seen as the watershed moment, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Cricket Tavnegwa Mukuhlani stated they are looking forward to giving their best in the competition with four full members of the ICC in the competition.

“We are tremendously excited to be hosting the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 event which will bring some of the world’s most talented and gifted cricketers to our beautiful country,” Mukuhlani revealed in ICC’s presser.

ICC World Cup Qualifier 2018, Zimbabwe, Scotland, ODI Status, Windies, ICC World Cup 2019
ICC World Cup Qualifier 2018: In 2014, Scotland won the title at Lincoln in New Zealand. Photo Credit: ICC.

Moreover, the hosts will kick off their campaign in Bulawayo as they are listed in the group B.

Apart from that, the two Groups would witness Windies being listed in the Group A and the side would open their campaign on March 6.

“As the very proud hosts, we are very passionate about what we do on and off the field and we are leaving no stone unturned to ensure we deliver an extraordinarily memorable tournament,” Mukuhlani asserted.

Pertinently, all ten teams would be wrestling it out to for the two available places.

David Richardson, who is the chief executive for ICC reveals the competition is expected to be a fascinating one and the ODI status would be interesting one for the teams

“This will undoubtedly be a competitive and hard-fought tournament with two tickets for the ICC Cricket World Cup up for grabs as well as ODI status,” Richardson said in ICC’s release.

During the World Cup qualifiers, all ten teams will face off other teams once, as the top three teams will enter into the Super Six round.

The other two sides which will be leading in the tournament after the completion of the ICC World Cricket League Division Two which is scheduled between February 8 and 15 in Namibia, as the other teams include Nepal, Kenya, Canada, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

ICC World Cup Qualifier 2018, Zimbabwe, Scotland, ODI Status, Windies, ICC World Cup 2019
ICC World Cup Qualifier 2018: the Netherlands is expected to earn the 50-over status. Photo Credit: Getty Images (Representation).

Interestingly, according to the ICC’s release, Netherlands is bound to achieve the ODI status until 2022 which further includes at least three Associate Members who are supposed to finish at the top.

“Seeing four Full Member sides up against our best Associate Member teams who have progressed through qualification will make for some exciting cricket,” Richardson said.

According to the schedule, the qualification rounds would be based on the first round which would be further followed by the Super Sixes on March 15.

The 2019 World Cup is proposed to run through May 30 and July 15 in England.

The final is slated for March 25 at Harare Sports Club.

ICC World Cup Qualifier 2018, Zimbabwe, Scotland, ODI Status, Windies, ICC World Cup 2019
ICC World Cup Qualifier 2018: Windies is placed in Group A and is bound to kick off the campaign on March 6, 2018. Photo Credit: ICC.

Earlier, the two-time World Champions Windies had missed out on the direct qualification for the World Cup 2019 when the cut-off date was set for September 30, 2017.

On the other side, Afghanistan and Ireland will also be fighting it out in the qualification round.

“While the ultimate goal for the teams involved will be to secure one of the two remaining berths at the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales,” Mukuhlani explained.

Here’s the detailed schedule for 2018 ICC World Cup Qualifier:

4 March, 2018 (Sunday) – PNG v WCL Div.2 winner, HSC; Ireland v Netherlands, OH; Zimbabwe v WCL Div.2 (runners-up), Queens Sports Club (QSC); Afghanistan v Scotland, BAC

6 March, 2018(Tuesday) – PNG v Ireland, HSC; Windies v WCL Div.2 (winner), OH; Zimbabwe v Afghanistan, QSC; Scotland v Hong Kong, BAC

8 March, 2018 (Thursday) – Netherlands v WCL Div.2 (winner), HSC; Windies v PNG, OH; Scotland v WCL Div.2 (runners-up), QSC; Afghanistan v Hong Kong, BAC

10 March, 2018(Saturday)  – Windies v Ireland, HSC; PNG v Netherlands, OH; Zimbabwe v Hong Kong, QSC; Afghanistan v WCL Div.2 (runners-up), BAC

12 March, 2018 (Monday) – Windies v Netherlands, HSC; Ireland v WCL Div.2 (winners), OH; Hong Kong v WCL Div.2 (runners-up), QSC; Zimbabwe v Scotland, BAC

Super Sixes scheduled top-three teams each:

15 March, 2018 (Thursday) – A1 v B1, HSC; A3 v B3, QSC; A5 v B4 (play-off), OH; A4 v B5 (play-off), KK

16 March, 2018 (Friday) – A2 v B2, HSC

17 March, 2018 (Saturday) – 9th/10th position play-off, OH; 7th/8th position play-off, KK

18 March, 2018 (Sunday) – A2 v B3, HSC

19 March, 2018 (Monday) – A1 v B2, HSC

20 March, 2018 (Tuesday) – A3 v B1, HSC

22 March, 2018 (Thursday) – A1 v B3, HSC; A3 v B2, OH

23 March, 2018 (Friday) – A2 v B1, HSC

25 March, 2018 (Sunday) – Grand Finale, HSC

The 10 teams separated into two groups for the ICC World Cup Qualifiers:

Group A: Windies (A1); Ireland (A2); Netherlands (A3); Papua New Guinea (A4); ICC World Cricket League Division 2 (Division Two) Winner (A5)

Group B: Afghanistan (B1); Zimbabwe (B2); Scotland (B3); Hong Kong (B4); ICC World Cricket League Division 2 (Division Two) runners-up (B5)

The warm-up fixtures are scheduled on February 27 and then March 1.

*Schedule ICC World Cup Qualifier 2018 courtesy ICC

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