Dubai, Dec 22: With two places up for grabs at the 2015 ICC World Cup, 10 teams head into next month’s World Cup Qualifier in New Zealand knowing that the tournament represents the final chance to qualify for the flagship event that will be staged in Australia and New Zealand from Feb 14 to March 29.
The finalists from January’s event will join the 10 full members as well as Ireland and Afghanistan in cricket’s biggest event.
The qualifier will be held from Jan 13 to Feb 1 and the teams have been divided in to two groups.
Group A: United Arab Emirates, Scotland, Canada, Hong Kong, Nepal
Group B: Netherlands, Kenya, Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Uganda
The top three from each group will progress to the Super Sixes.
In the North Island, matches will be played at Mt. Maunganui’s Bay Oval and the Pukekura Park in New Plymouth. In South Island Christchurch’s Hagley Oval will debut as an international cricket venue. Matches will also be played in Rangiora, Queenstown and Lincoln with the Bert Sutcliffe Oval hosting the final Feb 1.
This is the 10th edition of the qualifier which was known as the ICC Trophy until 2005. Previous winners include Sri Lanka (1975), Zimbabwe (1982, 1986 and 1990), the UAE (1994), Bangladesh (1997), Netherlands (2001), Scotland (2005) and Ireland (2009).