South Africa goes into a three-match One Day International (ODI) series against England this week in a dicey position, needing to secure a clean sweep if it is to make sure of automatic qualification for this year’s World Cup.
South Africa is embarrassingly behind in the World Cup Super League standings and left chasing the last available automatic qualifying berth for the tournament in India later this year – along with Ireland, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.
It sits in 11th place in the standings, having forfeited three ODIs against Australia this month in order to make room on the calendar for Cricket South Africa’s new Twenty20 league, but can make 100% sure of qualification if it beats England 3-0 and then win its last two qualifying ODIs in March and April at home to the Netherlands, who are bottom of the 13-team table.
The West Indies is eighth in the standings but has completed their Super League programme. Sri Lanka must win two of three ODIs in New Zealand in March to overtake them while Ireland must win all three of their May series against already-qualified Bangladesh if they are to stand any chance of a top eight finish.