With two major ICC events coming up, the High Performance ACC members are readying themselves for the challenges ahead. First is the World Cup, then the World Twenty20. Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Nepal, UAE are contesting for the honours, aiming to qualify with their senior teams. “It is the biggest prize we could possibly hope to achieve,” says Mohammad Nabi of World Cup 50-over qualification. A view shared by his fellow competing captains.

Afghanistan and UAE are contesting for the one remaining guaranteed World Cup 2015 slot behind Ireland, one or the other will go through automatically following the imminent conclusion of the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League Championship which has run since 2011. Either Afghanistan or UAE will join Canada, Hong Kong, Kenya, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Scotland and Uganda in a further World Cup Qualifier to be held in New Zealand in January 2014.

Afghanistan have twice qualified for the World Twenty20 and this year, in the biggest Qualifier yet for the event will be among 15 other teams (all the ones already cited as well as Bermuda, Denmark Ireland, Italy and USA) in a 72-match tournament in the UAE in November. “Anyone who gets through such a long and challenging process will be at the World Cup on merit,” says ACC Chief Executive Syed Ashraful Huq. “We are delighted that either Afghanistan or UAE will pre-qualify for the 2015 World Cup, we are confident that from the 2014 Qualifier two more ACC members will win through. Our hopes are equally high for Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Nepal and UAE who can all make it to the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh next year.”

Hong Kong are sending their men’s squad to New South Wales for ten days in preparation for the challenges of November and January, Nepal (currently training with the assistance of ACC Development Officer Rumesh Ratnayake) will be in India. Afghanistan and UAE are training in the Emirates with some practices scheduled against the visiting South African and Sri Lankan national sides who will be playing Pakistan.

Filed October 3rd, 2013