India will qualify as the host nation, but defending champions England will have to go through the grind of finishing in the Top Seven to automatically qualify.
England ODI captain Eoin Morgan trains at Southampton yesterday. PIC/Getty Images
A new era in ODI cricket is set to begin today when England take on Ireland in a three-match series at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton. In the Super League, every ODI series will have a lot at stake for teams in the new points-based qualification process for the 2023 World Cup.
India will qualify as the host nation, but defending champions England will have to go through the grind of finishing in the Top Seven to automatically qualify. Teams finishing in the bottom five will play a qualifying tournament.
While the International Cricket Council (ICC) has added context to every international match to be played henceforth, pundits like Michael Atherton feel that the Super League concept is “very complex” with nations allowed to stick to their bilateral series commitments.
England captain Eoin Morgan, however, has lauded the ICC’s initiative for having lesser matches in a series, but reserved his opinion on the Super League concept. “It is the start of the new qualification period for the next World Cup. I am always reluctant to make a judgment at the start until we actually see what it’s like. Giving opportunities to play more series on a shorter basis is a good thing. For long now, I’ve talked about having tri-series on a shorter basis because it’s trying to replicate an ICC tournament—you have must-win games and a final stage as opposed to purely a bilateral series. We’ll have to see how the next few series go and I’ll probably form a more constructive or objective opinion by then,” Morgan said during an interaction with select Indian media on the eve of the first ODI.
According to the ICC, the points from the first three ODIs of a bilateral series will be considered in the World Cup qualification process. When asked whether the fans might find it complex to differentiate between a Super League game and a bilateral match, Morgan said: “To be honest, I haven’t really looked that far ahead to dissect it. I would like to play a couple of series before I draw any conclusions. I just want see the framework, take a look at both sides, speak to the opposition captain and then form my opinion and give an honest judgment.”
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