ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 – England, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Netherlands scrap for Champions Trophy spots

ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 – England, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Netherlands scrap for Champions Trophy spots

As we approach the last few games of the league stage of the 2023 ODI World Cup, the primary focus is obviously on the top four slots. But that’s for the top six teams. For the rest, the race is on to finish among the top eight and qualify for the 2025 Champions Trophy. Six teams – those with eight or more points – have already secured their places. That includes Pakistan, who would have made the cut as hosts anyway. Here is a look at where the other four stand.

Netherlands
Played 7; Points 4; NRR -1.398
Remaining matches: vs England and India

If Netherlands win their last two games and finish on eight, they will ensure qualification. If they beat England and lose to India, they will finish on six, which Sri Lanka and Bangladesh can equal if they win their only remaining games. It will then come down to net run-rates, an aspect that may not favour Netherlands. Their NRR is currently -1.398; even if they beat England by 100 runs (after scoring 300), they will only improve to -0.955. The margins of the other results will then determine which two teams go through.

If Netherlands lose both their remaining games, they will struggle to qualify. Even if the three other teams lose their remaining games and stay on four points, it might be tough for Netherlands to finish with a higher NRR than two of those teams. It will all come down to the result margins then.

England
Played 7; Points 2; NRR -1.504
Remaining matches: vs Netherlands and Pakistan

The defending champions have had a horror campaign, but with Champions Trophy qualification on the line, there is still something to play for. But even if they win their last two matches, they will need some help from other teams, as Sri Lanka and Bangladesh could also join them on six points if they win their last games. England’s NRR is currently abysmal (-1.504), so they will not only need wins, but wins by significant margins.

If England lose to Netherlands, then they will have to beat Pakistan and hope that Sri Lanka and Bangladesh lose their last games and stay on four points. Then it will come down to NRR among England, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh for one spot.

Sri Lanka
Played 8; Points 4; NRR -1.160
Remaining match: vs New Zealand

Sri Lanka’s best bet is to beat New Zealand, and then hope that, at most, only one other team joins them on six. (Theoretically, all four teams can finish on six, if England win their last two, Bangladesh beat Australia, and Netherlands beat India.) Given their relatively healthy NRR, a win should put Sri Lanka in a reasonably strong position.

If they lose to New Zealand, then it will mean hoping that other results go their way, and that two other teams don’t go on to six points.

Bangladesh
Played 8; Points 4; NRR -1.142
Remaining match: vs Australia

Bangladesh are in a similar position to Sri Lanka, but their NRR is currently the best among the four teams who are fighting for the last two slots. Like Sri Lanka, their best bet will also be to beat Australia and end on six points. If they finish on four, they won’t be out of it, but plenty of other results will have to go their way.

S Rajesh is stats editor of ESPNcricinfo. @rajeshstats

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