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22 teams, 4 slots - Qualification pathway for ODI World Cup 2027 revealed

South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia are set to host the ODI World Cup three years later in 2027. However, the qualification tournaments to make it to the mega event have already got underway. Interestingly, despite being the hosts, Namibia are not among automatic qualifiers.

Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Published on: February 28, 2024 17:35 IST
World Cup
Image Source : GETTY World Cup Trophy

On November 19 last year, Australia defeated India at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad to lift the World Cup trophy for the record extending sixth time. The next edition of the ODI World Cup is still more than three years away but the qualification tournaments for the mega event are already underway. For the unversed, the World Cup in 2027 is going to be a grand affair as a total of 14 teams will participate.

Among them South Africa and Zimbabwe have automatically qualified for being the hosts. However, another co-host Namibia have not been awarded the qualification and they will have to feature a host of tournaments to play in front of their home crowd. Apart from these teams top eight ranked side will directly qualify for the competition. However, the cut-off date for the direct qualification is yet to be set. Now let us understand how this qualification will work:

Three different tournaments - CWC Challenge League A, CWC Challenge League B and CWC League 2 - will be played from which 8 teams will be shortlisted for the CWC Qualifier Play-off. A total of 12 teams will play the CWC Challenge League. Among them, Papua New Guinea, Jersey, Denmark, Hong Kong, Kenya, Qatar, Singapore and Uganda are confirmed to play while four out of Bermuda, Italy, Kuwait, Bahrain, Tanzania and Vanuatu will make it to the final list.

These 12 teams will then be divided into two groups of 6 each namely - CWC Challenge League A and B. These teams, according to the groups, will play three round-robin tournaments over the next couple of years. The top two teams from each group, will qualify for CWC Qualifier Play-off.

What about CWC League 2?

CWC League 2 will see 8 teams competing for four places in the CWC Qualifier Play-off. Namibia will be contesting in this tournament along side Netherlands, Scotland, UAE, USA, Nepal, Oman and Canada. All these teams will play 36 ODIs each across nine different tri-series from now to December 2026. After all these matches are concluded, the top four teams in the points table will qualify for the CWC Qualifier directly while the bottom four sides get one more shot in the CWC Qualifier play-off.

Now, top four teams from CWC Qualifier play-off will then make it to CWC Qualifier - the tournament that will eventually decide the fate of the remaining four slots for the World Cup 2027. This tournament will also see two full-member nations (two lowest ranked full member nations apart from SA and ZIM) competing for the remaining four slots in the mega event. So a total of 10 sides will fight hard for the remaining four slots at the World Cup.

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