We are once again back and it will be for the final time ever, says ICC World Cricket League Division 3. Like all the 6 previous editions held in 2007 (Australia), 2009 (Argentina), 2011 (Hong Kong), 2013 (Bermuda), 2014 (Malaysia) & 2017 (Uganda), the final edition in Nov 2018 in Oman will once again thrill all cricket lovers and followers as the team’s ranked 21st – 26th in the ICC rankings compete from Nov 09th – 21st.
There will be the usual promotion given to the top 2 countries at the end of the tournament, but unlike previous editions, this time there will no team’s staying back in Division 3 or getting relegated to Division 4. As ICC announced their new World Cup qualification structure in their Board and Cricket Committee meetings held in Oct 2018 in Singapore, the World Cricket League structure will cease to exist after the final edition of Division 2 is held in Apr 2019 in Namibia.
The incentives are heightened this time around though, as the top 2 countries will go one step closer to achieve not only their World Cup qualification dreams, but also for the opportunity to compete for ODI status and guaranteed 36 ODI fixtures over a 2 1/2 year period in Division 2 (they do however have to finish in top 4 in Division 2 in order to achieve that).
Also, unlike the 1 week of absolute murderous scheduling for teams and players alike, Oman venture will bring some bit of relief for all the 6 competing teams including the hosts, as unavailability of three turf wickets has meant that only two matches instead of customary three on a game day will get played on the two available pitches.
It provides a welcome situation for all as teams will now be stationed in Oman for two weeks instead of one and will get ample time to get adjusted to the conditions and plan accordingly as the tournament progresses after the first round of matches.
And although the World Cup qualification dreams wouldn’t be over for the team’s finishing 3rd – 6th at the end of the competition, the road towards it will definitely be a lot tougher from there onwards.
And the familiar conundrum of non-availability of live broadcast and streaming will once again be back as is the routine with WCL competitions. But will it curb the excitement and the anticipation of the results?? Absolutely NOT!!
One more time then for the final time for Oman, Kenya, Singapore, USA, Uganda and Denmark to create history and keep a piece of it with themselves as the participants in the final edition of a brand.