Cricket: World Cup berth on the line

By David Leggat

Sir Richard Hadlee with the Cricket World Cup. Photo / Getty
Sir Richard Hadlee with the Cricket World Cup. Photo / Getty

A ground named after one of New Zealand's most famous cricketers will host the final of the World Cup qualifying tournament in February.

Bert Sutcliffe Oval at Lincoln, half an hour outside Christchurch, will host the final of the 10-team tournament on February 1.

The two pools of five were revealed today, along with the venues for the tournament, which will run from January 13 to February 1.

The United Arab Emirates are top-ranked team in group A, which also includes Scotland, Canada, Hong Kong and Nepal.

The Netherlands head group B, with Kenya, Namibia, Papua New Guinea and Uganda rounding it out.

Teams contest a round robin, with the top three in each going into a Super Six series.
From there the two finalists are found. Both will win places in the World Cup proper, which begins on February 14, 2015.

The winner of the final will go into pool A with England, Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, New Zealand and Afghanistan. The runnerup is in pool B with defending champions India, West Indies, South Africa, Pakistan, Zimbabwe and Ireland.

There are six venues for the tournament - Mount Maunganui, which will use two grounds, New Plymouth, Queenstown, Rangiora, Lincoln and Hagley Oval in Christchurch.
Ireland and Afghanistan have already won places in the World Cup.

''I know the teams will have some of the best facilities at their disposal here and this event will give the country a taste of what is to come with the World Cup in 2015," International Cricket Council president Alan Isaac said.

- NZ Herald

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