Dubai, Feb 10: The ICC confirmed the schedule for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2009 to take place from 1 to 19 April in South Africa.
With three ODI venues being used, including Willowmoore Park in Benoni and Potchefstroom for group and Super Eight matches and Centurion for the final on 19 April, the event will enjoy first-class facilities.
In total there are nine venues being used for 54 matches played over 19 days with 12 teams fighting it out for the four qualification places on offer in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.
The ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier, formerly known as the ICC Trophy, incorporates Divisions 1 and 2 of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League and is the gateway for the top Associate and Affiliate teams into the premier one-day tournament in the world.
"It looks like it's going to be a great event," said ICC President David Morgan.
"Many of the top Associates are very evenly matched and I am expecting some thrilling matches during the tournament. We know from experience that South Africa is a perfect place to host big multi-team tournaments such as this and I know the teams will have some of the best facilities at their disposal," he said.
"Four years ago, Scotland deservedly overcame the opposition in Ireland so I'm sure they'll be anxious to hang on to the title. It's not going to be easy though. Many of the other Associates have made big strides since then so it's going to be a hard-fought tournament."
Day one of the event offers up perhaps the most eagerly awaited fixture of all with defending champion Scotland taking on fierce rival Ireland in an ODI at Willowmoore Park in what will be a repeat of the final in 2005.
Among the teams will be Afghanistan and Uganda, which both qualified from January's Pepsi World Cricket League Division 3 event in Buenos Aires. The WCL was created to provide a clear pathway for teams outside the top 10 towards improvement and ultimately, the ICC Cricket World Cup. This global event gives ICC Associate and Affiliate Members the opportunity to play similarly ranked sides in meaningful competition regardless of where they are located in the world.
The 12 teams taking part in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier are split into two groups of six teams. Ireland, Scotland, Canada, Oman, Namibia and Uganda make up Group A while Kenya, Netherlands, Bermuda, UAE, Denmark and Afghanistan form Group B.
Each side plays the other teams in its group once with the top four from the groups progressing to the Super Eight stage. The teams each play four Super Eight matches against the sides they did not meet in the group stage. All points won in the groups will be carried over to the Super Eight stage apart from those gained against the bottom two from each group.
The top two teams in the Super Eight stage will contest the final to be played at Centurion on 19 April. The third and fourth-placed sides will play-off at Potchefstroom, the fifth and sixth-placed sides play off at Willowmoore Park while the seventh and eighth-placed teams play off at Stan Friedman Oval, Krugersdorp.
The top four sides at the event qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. The top six teams secure ODI status until 2013 and also qualify automatically for the ICC Intercontinental Cup 2009-10.
The bottom two teams from the CWCQ, which incorporates Divisions 1 and 2 of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League, will be relegated to Division 3.