Ever since the official announcement of ICC CWC Super League, there are been numerous queries popping up on everyone’s head about the tournament.
Getting straight into the topic, Super League is the major qualification tournament for the 2023 Cricket World Cup among 12 full-member nations and Netherlands (ICC WCLC Winners).
It was first proposed in 2017 to give some sort of validation to the regular meaningless bilateral series. Hence, the Super League was announced as the crossover between the regular FTP series and the World Cup qualification pathway.
Previously, ICC used to run the World Cricket League cycle among the associates to promote and relegate teams in different divisions. After surpassing the Division 2, teams would qualify for the World Cup Qualifier and contest for a spot in the World Cup.
In order to introduce the Super League, the aforementioned World Cricket League cycle has been scrapped by the ICC. In addition, ICC announced two more tiers under the Super League for the Associates to contest and have tiny shot at eyeing a World Cup spot. ICC CWC League 2 and CWC Challenge League are those two tiers.
The whole cycle consists of top 32 teams in One Day cricket (12 full members + the associates finishing 13-32 in the WCL). Of them, 20 teams have the ODI status. Teams ranked 1-13 are placed in the Super League, 14-20 in League 2, and non-ODI teams (20-32) are placed in the Challenge League. All the matches contested in the Super League and League 2 have ODI status whereas Challenge League matches are only given List A relegation by the ICC.
The Format – Men’s World Cup Super League
- The 13 in the Super League will play four home and four away series with 3 matches in each series.
- Out of 12 opponents, each team will only face off against 8.
- The teams were given the right to choose their opponents with the mutual understanding of their respective boards.
On completion of a match, the points will be distributed in the following structure:
- Win – 10 points
- Tie/No Result – 5 points
- Loss – 0 points
A total of 156 ODIs will be played during the course of the course of two years. And after the completion of the league, the top 7 teams other than India will qualify directly for the 2023 World Cup, while the rest of the teams will have to play in the 2022 Cricket World Cup Qualifier. India, being the host country, has gained direct qualification into the World Cup.
Promotion and Relegation
The top 12 teams in the Super League will defend their place in the league for the next round, while the 13th place team will have to compete bilaterally with the winner of League 2 for a place in the next cycle of the Super League. The winning team is promoted to the next round of the Super League and the losing team will play League 2.
For example, if a full member finishes 13th in the Super League and Scotland wins the League 2, those two teams will square off in a bilateral series with the winner getting a spot in the next cycle of the Super League. Continuing the example, if Scotland win that bilateral series, they’ll play the Super League whereas the full member will have to play the League 2 in the next cycle.
England vs Ireland – The First Series
The Super League was scheduled to start on 1 May 2020. However, the global pandemic has forced some series to be postponed. Hence, the England vs Ireland ODI series, that’ll get underway from July 30, will serve as the first series to be a part of the Super League.
As the first series of the Super League fast-approaches, Geoff Allardice (ICC General Manager – Cricket Operations) said, ” We are delighted to get the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League underway with World Cup winners England against Ireland.”
“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.”, he further added