South Africa’s Direct World Cup Qualification Scenario Explained
Cricket South Africa is one of the top cricket-playing nations in the circuit but in the 2020–2023 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League cycle they didn’t have a good run and lost too many games in the bilaterals they played which made things difficult for South Africa to qualify directly for the ICC Cricket World Cup in India. They are currently sitting at 78 points at the ninth spot with only two ODI matches left in their super league cycle.
As per the ICC rules, the top eight teams automatically qualify while the bottom five in the Super League points table will have to play the World Cup qualifier along with five Associate teams from which two teams will progress to the group stage to have a full fledge ten teams Cricket World Cup.
Qualification Scenario for the 2023 World Cup
Cricket South Africa is scheduled to play a home series against the Netherlands in March/April, comprised of only 2 One Day Internationals. Both these matches now carry significant importance for South Africa to join the top eight teams for direct world cup qualification. If CSA wins both ODIs against the Netherlands it will push them toward 98 points and have a better chance for direct qualification.
|1||New Zealand (Q)||21||14||5||2||150||+0.697|
|2||India (hosts) (Q)||21||13||6||2||139||+0.782|
Team West Indies is in the 8th spot in the super league points table and they got 88 points with no games left so if South Africa wins both matches against the Netherlands they will replace West Indies with 98 points.
Team Sri Lanka who is currently sitting in the 10th spot in the points table with 77 points has one bilateral series left which is to be played in New Zealand and has three one-day Internationals scheduled in it. If Sri Lanka wins the series by 3-0, it will push their points tally to 107 points or they win the series by 2-0 and one washout which pushes their points tally to 102 points. In both these cases it is assured Sri Lanka will directly qualify to beat South Africa, West Indies & Ireland the other teams contesting for the direct world cup qualification. Each team gets 10 points for a WIN and five points if the match is abandoned or tied.
Ireland is another contestant who has a great chance to push the direct world cup qualification as they have a bilateral series scheduled in May against Bangladesh which is to be played at one venue in the UK. If team Ireland is able to defeat Bangladesh by 3-0 in that series, it will push their points tally to 98 points (currently at 68) and with three wins it is expected to bring in a better net run rate than South Africa.
South Africa has been docked a point due to the slow over-rate in the third ODI against England which they lost hence giving an outside chance for Ireland to clinch their eight spot in-case South Africa wins against the Netherlands and Sri Lanka loses against New Zealand.