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More games for Jersey

Cricket | Published:

JERSEY cricketers are set to have an enhanced playing programme due to the International Cricket Council approving a new qualification system for the 2023 World Cup.

Something to shout about ... Jersey win World Cricket League Division 5 last year before holding on to Division status. Now, after a restructuring of the 50-over game, they will be in Cricket World Cup Challenge League (A and B Divisions) which will offer more guaranteed fixtures as sides battle out for a place at the 2023 World Cup

ICC Board members unanimously approved the change following a week of meetings in Singapore last week.

Following the conclusion of the World Cricket League Division 3 in Oman next month, where the leading two teams will be promoted to Division 2 for the next tournament early in 2019, Division 3 through to 5 will be bunched together and divided into two groups of six teams each – Cricket World Cup Challenge League’s A and B. Jersey are currently in WCL Division 4.

The new format means instead of possibly just five 50-over matches every two years, nations in League’s A and B will be guaranteed 15 fixtures across 27 months – from next August.

‘It’s a positive development from the ICC and it gives us three years of confirmed fixtures,’ said Jersey coach Neil MacRae.

‘I’m pleased and excited because it gives us the opportunity to play on a yearly basis too.

‘Dates and venues have all yet to be decided, but the structure will be similar to the World Cricket League with five matches at each tournament and the first will be between August and the end of 2019.’

Jersey Cricket Board chairman Ward Jenner said: ‘This is an exciting move and the structure is good because it gives us consistency, whereas previously tournaments were few and far between.

‘It gives us the opportunity to plan and prepare properly and the players will know earlier about taking time off work.

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‘The new structure is to our advantage because it will give us more opposition to play and on a regular basis.

‘Taking three to five weeks off a year is not easy for players, but it will allow us to use more players and that’s a nice problem to have.’

Jersey have two tournaments already in the pipeline for next year, a European T20 Division I tournament and a T20 Global qualifier.

Nations will also now not suffer relegation for one bad week [at a WCL Divisional tournament], they will be judged on their form across three tournaments.

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All matches will have List A status, putting it on par with domestic one-day leagues in all Test nations.

League A and B winners would then join the bottom four nations from CWC League Two in the CWC qualifier play-off, effectively the former WCL Division Two.

The top two from the qualifier play-off would then join the other eight teams in the World Cup qualifier.

Andy Bradshaw

By Andy Bradshaw
Sports Reporter

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