The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday confirmed the official launch of the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League, which will get under way on Thursday when England and Ireland commence the first of three ODIs in Southampton.
The Super League will determine qualification for the next 50-over World Cup in India in 2023, with the top seven teams securing automatic participation in the showpiece event.
The league will consist of 13 nations – 12 of which will be full ICC members and the Netherlands – with each team playing four home and away three-match series.
ICC general manager Geoff Allardice says the inaugural Super League will bring much-needed context to ODI cricket.
‘We are delighted to get the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League under way with World Cup-winners England against Ireland,’ he said in a statement released by the ICC on Monday morning.
‘The league will bring relevance and context to ODI cricket over the next three years, as qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 is at stake. The Super League gives cricket fans around the world even more reasons to watch as the drama of league cricket unfolds.
‘The decision last week to move the World Cup back to late 2023 gives us more time to schedule any games lost due to Covid-19 and preserve the integrity of the qualification process, meaning it will be decided on the field of play, which is important.’
England’s ODI captain, Eoin Morgan, is also embracing the new format and given the current circumstances around the world, believes it will make for good spectator viewing.
‘Given the situation, it will be quite different to the last time we played at home, when we lifted the World Cup at Lord’s, but it’s nice to be starting our journey for the next edition of the tournament,’ Morgan explained.
‘I’m sure cricket fans all over the world will be excited to see white-ball cricket resume and we’re looking forward to the challenge.
‘Ireland are a talented team who have shown over the years that they can beat the best on their day. We look forward to what promises to be an interesting series.’
England vs Ireland fixtures:
30 July: 1st ODI; Rose Bowl, Southampton
1 August: 2nd ODI; Rose Bowl, Southampton
4 August: 3rd ODI; Rose Bowl, Southampton.