If the World Test Championship has given Test series more significance, the ICC ODI Super League has done the same for ODI bilateral series.
The system, which was introduced and implemented in 2020, is a stepping stone to the World Cup in 2023.
Some of the teams will qualify directly for the major tournament in India in 2023, but South Africa’s road to that goal appears to be rocky.
Looking at the ODI Super League table at the moment, South Africa is positioned 13th (last) with nine points from three matches.
To fully comprehend what this means for the Proteas, we must first examine how the ODI Super League operates.
About Super League and it’s format
It all starts with 32 countries competing in various cricket series and tournaments in attempt to qualify for the 2023 World Cup as one of the ten teams.
The 32 teams were split into three leagues: the Super League, League 2, and Challenge League.
India will qualify for the World Cup directly from the Super League’s top seven teams including the hosts.
The remaining five teams will compete in the ICC World Cup qualifier for a place in the tournament.
The 13 teams are made up of the 12 Test-playing nations, as well as the Netherlands, who qualified for this cycle of the Super League by winning the ICC World Cricket League Championship (2015-17).
Surprisingly, the team that finishes 13th in the Super League will be demoted to League 2.
In terms of the format and point systems, each side will play a total of 24 One-Day Internationals (ODIs) in the Super League.
They will play four ODI series (three matches each) on the way and four ODI series at home (three matches each).
A team receives ten points for every win, zero points for a loss, and five points for a tie or a draw.
Take a look at the table
|Rank||Team||Matches||Won||Lost||Tied||No result||Points||NRR||Penalty Overs|
Whom South Africa is facing?
The problem with South Africa is that they have a very rigid schedule.
At home, they were defeated 2-1 by Pakistan.
Furthermore, due to a slow over-rate, they were decreased to 9 points from 10.
They have scored more points against the four opponents they will not face during the cycle than they have against the four opponents they will face.
New Zealand, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe, and the West Indies will not face South Africa in a series.
Except for the one against New Zealand, they would have expected to win all of these series
Instead, they’ll be up against teams such as India, Australia, and, to a lesser extent, Bangladesh.
Who will face Afghanistan?
Afghanistan, on the other side, has began their league with a 3-0 victory over Ireland.
They will not face England, New Zealand, South Africa, or the West Indies in this tournament
Instead, they’ll face Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, and the Netherlands in their next round series, all of which are matches that they’d like to win.
They still have Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Australia to face.
Afghanistan’s path to direct qualifying could be paved if they can beat Bangladesh in one match.
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