The new ICC trophy and what it means for Canada.


Mike Mclean


The recent ICC Development Conference has dotted the i’s and crossed the t’s 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.

Division A Division B Division C Division D
1. Kenya 1. Denmark 1. Hong Kong 1. Germany
2. Holland 2. USA 2. PNG 2. ECACC
3. Namibia 3. Ireland 3. Fiji 3. Gibraltar
4. Canada 4. Bermuda 4. Singapore 4. Italy
5. Scotland 5. Uganda 5. Argentina 5. France
6. UAE 6. Nepal 6. Malaysia 6. Nigeria
      7. Israel
      8. Tanzania
      9. Cayman Islands
Venue – Kenya Venue-USA Venue-Malaysia Venue-Italy

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. It’s 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
afraid that Canada is very much up against it. Much as I would like to see lightening striking twice, it will take a huge amount of preparation by the Canadian Cricket Association to give Canada any reasonable chance.

ICC is determined to increase the global stakes in cricket, and there are
many Countries eager to grasp those opportunities. Gone are the days that we can rely on luck, or the determination of a few talented individuals. WC2003 is a done deal. The team is about selected. We can only wish them well, and stand united in support. But the planning for WC2007 must begin immediately. We must do well in 2003 to secure a favourable seeding and to garnish National interest and support. But we must be ready for a tough battle in 2005 with what will be a team largely different to that currently carrying our flag today. We have 3 years to prepare, and 5 short years to be totally ready.



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