Confusion reigned at the end of 2019 when the ICC proposed a complete overhaul of its qualifying structures and announced back-to-back World Cup events in 2020 and 2021, leaving the Caesareans unsure as to whether they would be forced back down a step in their bid to reach one of the top tournaments in world cricket.
However, having held their own at the Global Qualifier for Australia 2020 – finishing outside the play-offs on net run rate – the Islanders have earned an automatic spot in the continental qualifier for India 2021. At 26th, they are the highest-ranked European nation outside those attending the World Cup this year.
Jersey head Neil MacRae said: ‘We’re certainly pleased that the success we had in reaching the Global Qualifier and our performance in Abu Dhabi is reflected in the fact that we go straight into the final, rather than first-round qualifiers which we went through in 2018.
‘It’s another exciting opportunity for us to build on what our young squad learned in the 2019 season in T20 cricket and take that forward at the end of this coming season.’
Three other nations will join Jersey in the Europe final this September, coming from a 24-team sub-regional stage. The top two will then progress to a 16-strong global qualifier next year, which will include the bottom four from the 2020 World Cup and the top-ranked sides who didn’t make it to Australia – Zimbabwe, Nepal, UAE and Hong Kong.
From there, four teams will be granted passage to India.
MacRae added: ‘This fits well into our schedule this year. Now we have the second round of Challenge League [50-over World Cup qualifier] in Uganda in July and then the T20 tournament in September.’
The 2021 World Cup – due to take place just 12 months after its predecessor – is set to replace the ICC Champions Trophy. It is still unclear whether a new four-year cycle will begin from then.
Jersey are believed to be considering a bid to host the Europe final, although the JCB have not confirmed their plans.