x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

ICC gives UAE some home comforts for qualifiers

The UAE will have home advantage next year when they bid to qualify for the ICC's Intercontinental Cup.

The UAE will have home advantage next year when they bid to qualify for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Intercontinental Cup.

And they could enjoy a similar bonus for the first 16-team ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier which will be played in the Emirates in early 2012.

The ICC announced yesterday that the Intercontinental Cup is to revert to being a single-division, biennial eight-team, first-class tournament.

The next Intercontinental Cup is scheduled to run from next May until December 2012 with Afghanistan, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands and Scotland automatically included.

The remaining two places will be determined by the ICC development committee from the top four teams of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Division 2 event which is scheduled for next April in Dubai.

The division is made up of the UAE, Bermuda, Namibia and Uganda and they will play in a round-robin competition, along with two qualifiers from the third division, with the top two teams meeting in the final.

Matthew Kennedy, the ICC global development manager, said: "Due to the Zimbabwe XI no longer participating, it has been decided to revert to the previous Intercontinental Cup structure of eight teams with more guaranteed games for all.

"In making this decision, consideration was given to the international cricket opportunities now provided to all 95 Associate and Affiliate members across all three formats of the game.

"With balancing these formats in mind, it is important to offer the best non-Test-playing nations the opportunity to compete in meaningful multi-day cricket. And as a result of this expanded I-Cup, the second division that was the ICC Intercontinental Shield is no longer required," he added.

It has also been decided that the first 16-team ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier, which will determine the six teams to join the 10 full members at the ICC World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in September 2012, will be staged in the UAE in the early part of 2012.

The development committee confirmed the regional T20 qualification systems throughout 2011 will provide the 10 teams that will join the six one-day international nations in the WT20 qualifier.

The teams will be drawn from Asia (3), Europe (2), Africa (2), Americas (2) and East Asia - Pacific (1).