Windies to face UAE in World Cup Qualifiers
WINDHOEK, Namibia (CMC):
United Arab Emirates (UAE) booked their spot alongside the Windies at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe starting next month, after beating Nepal by seven runs to win the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 title here Wednesday.
With the triumph, UAE have been installed in Group A of the March 4-25 tournament, along with the likes of Ireland, the Netherlands and Papua New Guinea (PNG).
Nepal, meanwhile, will do battle in Group B alongside Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Scotland and hosts Zimbabwe.
UAE skipper Rohan Mustafa warned that based on the tenacity displayed over the last week, his side would be a force to be reckoned with throughout the upcoming qualifiers.
"This performance has been such a morale booster that I am sure we will do much better in the World Cup Qualifiers," he said.
"The way we have fought back from defeats during the tournament shows that we will be a hard team to beat in the World Cup Qualifiers."
West Indies, the highest-ranked side in the tournament, open their campaign on March 6 against UAE at the Old Hararians Sports Club in Harare.
The Caribbean side will then take on PNG two days later, Ireland on March 10, before wrapping up their preliminary round with a clash against the Netherlands.
Following the preliminaries, the top three from each group will advance to the Super Sixes, where they will each play three matches against teams they did not meet in the preliminaries.
The finalists will secure the final two berths at the ICC World Cup scheduled for England next year from May 30 to July 15.
West Indies failed in their bid for an automatic qualification spot after falling outside the top eight in the one-day rankings at the September 30 cut-off date last year.
Hosts England, along with the remaining top seven teams, all earned direct qualification.