The new ICC trophy and what it means for Canada.
The recent ICC Development Conference has dotted the is and crossed the ts and has come up an interesting format to select the teams that will appear in the various Caribbean grounds during World Cup 2007. The recent ICC Trophy, whilst a huge success logistically and emotionally (assuming you are a Canadian supporter) would be difficult to repeat in many countries and impossible for many regions hence the need for decentralization from a single venue and the introduction of a regional league concept.
Four leagues or Divisions have been drawn up as in the accompanying Table. The teams have been positioned largely according to their performances in Toronto, with the strongest in Division A (which includes Canada, seeded 4th but which also includes Kenya in the number one berth). All these teams within each Division will face each other during 2003, with Division A venues in the Kenya, Division B in USA etc. At the end of these area round robins, there will be a single team promoted or relegated in each Division with the obvious exception of a promotion from Division A. The resulting new A and B Divisions will play for the ICC Trophy in 2005, with presumably the top 4 teams booking their passage for the Caribbean for WC2007.
So any team currently
in Division A must appear in the final 12 participating in ICC 2005, which
is somewhat reassuring for Canada. However the competition for WC 2007
from the final 12 will be formidable. Both Ireland
(host of this years European Championship) and Scotland
left Toronto last year shocked and stunned and determined to rebuild,
a process which is well under way as a visit to their web sites will confirm.
Scotland enjoys considerable ongoing development funding as a result of
their previous success in qualifying for the last World Cup in England.
Ireland has new International coaches and a cricket academy under way.
Both Countries have strong Juniors. Thus on paper Kenya and Namibia seem
favourites for WC2007, with Holland, Scotland, Canada, Ireland, Denmark,
USA and perhaps Uganda or UAE fighting for the coveted final 2 places.
Its of more than passing interest that in the last 3 months, Irish
teams have won the EEC U13 and U17 tournaments and tied Scotland for the
EEC Senior Championships, And where will ICC2005 take place? Why in Ireland
of course! I would suggest this will offer a very substantial home advantage
for both Ireland and Scotland. I'm
ICC is determined
to increase the global stakes in cricket, and there are
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