The International Cricket Council on Monday officially launched the inaugural ICC Cricket World Cup Super League.
Getting underway on Thursday in Southampton, the Super League will begin with a series between world champions England and Ireland.
Introduced to bring context to One-Day International (ODI) cricket, the Super League will determine qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 with the top seven teams automatically booking their spot at the event in India.
Featuring 13 teams, the 12 ICC Full Members and the Netherlands, who qualified by winning the ICC World Cricket Super League 2015-17, the Super League will see each side play four home and four away three match series.
Commenting on the launch, Geoff Allardice, ICC General Manager – Cricket Operations, said, “We are delighted to get the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League underway with World Cup winners England against Ireland.
“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.”
Eoin Morgan, England captain, said: “We’re looking forward to playing cricket again and to the ICC Men’s World Cup Super League. 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.
“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.”
Andrew Balbirnie, Ireland captain, said: “It’s a privilege to be playing in the inaugural series of the ICC Men’s World Cup Super League. It is obviously going to be a huge challenge taking on the team that won the World Cup just a year ago but we have prepared well and have taken confidence from our form over the early months of 2020.”
“What is important is that we are getting back on the field. I hope international cricket’s return is steady during these challenging times.
“I look forward to the Irish side putting on a good performance in the upcoming series as we start our campaign for World Cup qualification.”