The qualifying tournament for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 -- Cricket World Cup Qualifier -- will begin in Zimbabwe on Sunday, March 4. Eight of the ten teams in the tournament will be in action on the opening across four venues in the African nation.
With the ICC reducing the number of teams from 14 in 2015 World Cup to 10 in the upcoming edition, the World Cup Qualifier has gained a lot of significance. | Full schedule and squads |
Hosts England and seven other top-ranked ICC ODI teams having already earned a direct berth for the quadrennial global spectacle. Only two spots are up for the grabs in the qualifying campaign.
West Indies, Afghanistan among favorites
Two-time World Cup champions West Indies, who failed to seal the direct qualification spot on the September 30 cut-off date, are seen as favorites as they have got a boost, following the availability of big-hitters Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels.
All eyes though will be on the world no. 10 Afghanistan, who have laid down an early marker by decimating West Indies in their warm-up match at Harare Sports Club on February 27. Teenage leg-spinner Rashid Khan will become the youngest ODI captain when he leads the Phil Simmons-led side.
10 teams, divided into two groups of five each, will be involved in a round robin group stage. Top three teams from each group will progress to the Super Six stage, in which nine matches will be played.
Top two teams at the end of the Super Six will qualify for next year's World Cup and will also play the final of the Qualifier, which will be held on March 25 in Harare.
Meanwhile, the ICC has decided to broadcast the Qualifier matches for the first time in the history of the sport. A total of 10 ties will be telecasted across 200 countries. They are listed below.
- West Indies vs Ireland - March 10
- West Indies vs the Netherlands - March 12
- Seven Super Six games
Live streaming and TV coverage information
- India: TV - Star Sports Select 2/HD; Live streaming - Hotstar.com
- West Indies: TV - ESPN; Live streaming: espn.co.uk/Caribbean
- Afghanistan: TV - Moby; Live streaming: Hotstar.com
- Pakistan: TV - PTV Sports, Ten Sports; Live streaming - Sony Liv, Tensports.com.pk
- Sri Lanka: TV: SLRC (Channel Eye); Live streaming - Channeleye.lk
- Hong Kong: TV: Star Cricket; Live streaming: nowtv.now.com/
- Bangladesh: TV: GTV; Live streaming: Rabbitholebd.com
- Australia: TV: Fox Sports; Live streaming: Foxsports.com.au
- US: Willow TV
- UK: TV: Sky Sports; Live streaming - Sky Go
- New Zealand: TV - Sky Sport; Live streaming: skygo.co.nz/livetv/