In what can be termed as the lowest ebb in island’s cricket history, the West Indies have failed to qualify for the 2017 Champions Trophy in England as they were not among the top eight ODI teams as per ICC rankings on September 30, 2015, paving the way for Bangladesh’s entry.
It will be the first time since its inception year in 1998 (when Champions Trophy used to be known as Mini World Cup) that assortment of Caribbean nations will not be a part of a premier event.
Bangladesh will return to the Champions Trophy for the first time since 2006 after the eight sides were confirmed for the 2017 tournament, which will be hosted by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) from June 1 to 18.
The eight sides to play in the short and sharp, nation-versus-nation ICC Champions Trophy 2017 are (in rankings order): world champions Australia, defending champions India, 1998 winner South Africa, 2000 champion New Zealand, 2002 co-winner Sri Lanka, hosts England, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Bangladesh’s last participation in the ICC Champions Trophy was in India, when it featured in the qualifying round. It lost to Sri Lanka (by 37 runs) and the West Indies (by 10 wickets). Its only victory was against Zimbabwe by 101 runs.
Since the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Bangladesh cricket team has been on a high and has produced very strong performances. It won ODI series against Pakistan, India and South Africa, which has helped it jump from ninth to seventh in the ICC ODI Team Rankings.
The Champions Trophy 2017 will be a 15-match tournament, with teams split into two groups of four, with the top two teams in each group progressing to the semifinals. The groups and the schedule for the ICC Champions Trophy will be announced in due course.
ICC ODI Team Rankings 2015 :
1) Australia 127 pts
2) India 115 pts
3) South Africa 110 pts
4)New Zealand 109 pts;
5) Sri Lanka 103 pts
6) England 100 pts
7) Bangladesh 96 pts
8) Pakistan 90 pts
9) West Indies 88 pts
10) Ireland 49 pts
11) Zimbabwe 45 pts
12) Afghanistan 41 pts.
With the sides for the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 now confirmed, the next important qualification date in the diaries of the 12 teams on the ICC ODI Team Rankings will be September 30, 2017.
That is the date when the top eight ranked sides on the ICC ODI Team Rankings will earn direct qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 to be hosted by the ECB.
The bottom four sides will get a second chance to complete the 10-team line-up in the ICC Cricket World Cup when they will be joined by teams from the ICC World Cricket League Championship and the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018.
As such, all bilateral ODI cricket in the lead up to September 20, 2017, including the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, will now have greater importance as only 27 points separate second-ranked India from ninth-ranked West Indies.