ICC Announce second round I-Cup and WCLC matches
The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced the second round schedule of the four-day first-class ICC Intercontinental Cup, which is a pathway for Test cricket, as well as the ICC World Cricket League Championship, which provides an opportunity to the participating teams to play in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 and subsequently qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
The second round of the ICC Intercontinental Cup will start on 8 September when Scotland will travel to Voorburg, a town in the outskirts of Amsterdam, to lock horns with the Netherlands. In the first round, Scotland, which won the inaugural tournament in 2004, had to settle with a draw against Afghanistan, while Netherland was surprised by Papua New Guinea, which came from behind to win the match by five wickets.
The first-class match will be followed by the two 50-over matches, which will be part of the ICC World Cricket League Championship. These games will be played on 14 and 16 September at the VRA Cricket Ground in Amstelveen.
Former New Zealand all-rounder and Scotland coach Grant Bradburn, looking forward to the Dutch game, said: “After a solid start to both of these campaigns this season, with first innings points against Afghanistan and two wins over Nepal, we are looking to take our performances to the next level in our next round of fixtures.
“We are under no illusions that our familiar foes, the Netherlands, will be tough opponents in both formats. It was disappointing for our final clash in the T20 Qualifiers to be washed out, so we look forward to once again locking horns during this series.”
October will see Namibia host defending champion Ireland for the four-day first-class ICC Intercontinental Cup match in Windhoek, from 24-27 October. Both sides made winning starts to the tournament with Namibia defeating debutant Hong Kong by 114 runs at the same venue, while Ireland defeated the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by an innings and 26 runs victory in Dublin.
In November, the UAE and Hong Kong will go head to head in Dubai from 11-14 November in the ICC Intercontinental Cup match, which will be followed by two One-day Internationals on 16 and 18 November, while former champion Afghanistan will host Papua New Guinea (PNG) in Sharjah from 21-24 November in the same tournament.
In addition to the ICC Intercontinental Cup matches, there will be two more second round matches in the ICC World Cricket League Championship with Namibia and Kenya playing in Windhoek on 30 October and 1 November, and Nepal hosting PNG in Kathmandu on 28 and 30 November. However, the venue of Nepal-PNG match is subject to security and infrastructure assessment and clearance.
UAE coach and former Pakistan fast bowler Aqib Javed once again highlighted the importance of the ICC Intercontinental Cup and the ICC World Cricket League Championship. “To play in these high profile competitions are priceless opportunities for the leading Associates. These tournaments help you hone your skills, continuously access your progress in a competitive environment, get a flavour of top level cricket and at the same time qualify for Test cricket and the ICC Cricket World Cup.
“The Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) has prepared a roadmap to international cricket and the ICC Intercontinental Cup and the ICC World Cricket League Championship provide us the platform to stay on course to achieve our objectives.”
The four-day first-class ICC Intercontinental Cup is competed by the top eight Associate sides.
The side that wins the round-robin tournament spread over two-and-a-half years will play the 10th-ranked side on the ICC Test Team Rankings (as at 31 December 2017) in the four-match ICC Test Challenge during 2018. If the Associate Member wins the series, to be played on a home and away basis, then it will become the 11th Test nation.
The eight-team ICC World Cricket League Championship is contested by the same sides which are participating in the ICC Intercontinental Cup except Afghanistan and Ireland, which have been promoted to the ICC ODI Team Rankings. These two sides have been replaced by Kenya and Nepal, which had finished third and fourth, respectively, in the ICC World Cricket League Championship Division 2.
The finalists of the ICC World Cricket League Championship will have an opportunity to play in the ICC’s pinnacle event - the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 - if they finish in the top two of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018.
Second round matches:
Netherlands v Scotland
8-11 September – Four-day ICC Intercontinental Cup, Voorburg
14 and 16 September – ICC World Cricket League Championship, VRACG, Amstelveen
Namibia v Ireland
24-27 October – Four-day ICC Intercontinental Cup, Wanderers, Windhoek
Namibia v Kenya
30 October and 1 November – ICC World Cricket League Championship, Wanderers, Windhoek
UAE v Hong Kong
November 11-14 – Four-day ICC Intercontinental Cup, ICC Academy, Dubai
*16 and 18 November – ICC World Cricket League Championship, ICC Academy, Dubai
*(As both Hong Kong and the UAE have ODI status, these two 50-over matches will be classified as One-Day Internationals)
Afghanistan v Papua New Guinea
21-24 November – Four-day ICC Intercontinental Cup, Sharjah Cricket Stadium
Nepal v Papua New Guinea
28 and 30 November – ICC World Cricket League Championship, University Ground, Kathmandu (subjection to infrastructure/security assessment/approval)