ICC World Cup 2019: Qualification process explained

This year, the ICC decided to include only 10 teams to ensure quality competition

$10 million on offer in ICC World Cup, winner to earn $4 million [File] The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 trophy | Reuters

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, hosted by England and Wales, kicks-off on May 30, 2019, and will end on July 14, 2019. The World Cup, which takes place every four years usually, is a culmination of a qualification process that extends over five to six years.

The ICC consists of 104 member countries, which includes 12 full members and 92 associate members. In 2011 and 2015, the tournament had 14 teams. However, this year, the ICC decided to include only 10 teams to ensure quality competition.

In World Cup 2019, the teams include the top eight teams in the latest ICC ODI rankings as on September 30, 2017. England qualified automatically as they host the tournament. The other two teams—Afghanistan and West Indies—got selected through the World Cup qualifier tournament that took place in Bangladesh in March 2018.

Afghanistan won the qualifying tournament beating the West Indies in the final. While both the teams qualified for the World Cup, Zimbabwe despite hosting the qualifying tournament failed to reach the final and would miss the World Cup for the first time since 1983. Also, the recently appointed full member Ireland will also miss the World Cup for the first time since 2007.

For the first time ever in the history of ICC, no associate nations will be participating in the World Cup. The tournament comprises the remaining four teams that failed to make it to the top seven ODI rankings, and the top four teams from the Cricket World League Championships.

The ICC team rankings are based on a rating method developed by David Kendix to rank men’s teams playing across Tests, ODIs and T20I formats and women’s teams playing ODIs and T20I cricket.

This rating is arrived at by dividing the points scored by the match/series total, with the answer given to the nearest whole number. It can be compared with a batting average, but with points instead of total runs scored and a match/series total instead of a number of times dismissed.

The qualifiers that take place later acts as the conclusion of all the events of ICC World Cricket League series and regional qualification that provide a platform for all the ICC members to compete and clear the qualification process to participate in the World Cup.

There are a number of ICC qualifying events in a year that are supervised by the Global Development team. It implements ICC’s qualifying structures in the regional and global qualifying tournaments, where the teams compete in the regions allocated to them. The regions include Americas, Africa, East Asia Pacific, Asia and Europe in a division format that acts as a pathway before entering the global qualifying tournaments and later to the ICC major tournaments.

The main aim of the Global Development team is to improve the standard of Cricket by building a bigger, better global game across five continents that consist of 92 Associate Members (AMs). The global support provided by the team includes assistance on governance, quality performance, building the game at the grassroots, developing commercial strategies, and providing marketing and communications expertise.

In the past, the ICC World Cup had a variety of formats but this year, the format will be simpler in comparison to the previous years as the number of teams has been reduced this time. This year, the quarterfinals have been discarded as there will only be one central group consisting of all 10 teams. In a full round-robin format, all the teams compete with each other, and the top four teams progress to the semifinals, where they battle it out to the final.

After being crowned the winners last time, Australia will be a deserved favourite this season, with India and South Africa not far behind. Despite being the host country, England is only the fourth favourite.


Automatically qualified


Qualifiers based on current ICC ODI rankings


South Africa


New Zealand

Sri Lanka



Teams that qualified in the World Cup qualification tournament


West Indies

Other participants in the World Cup qualification tournament

West Indies




Papua New Guinea


Hong Kong