Ireland are preparing for a crucial three-match ODI series against Bangladesh, which will be worth World Cup Super League points towards a spot in the upcoming World Cup in India. The series will be crucial for South Africa, who will eagerly follow the matches as their prospects of qualifying directly for the premier event hang in the balance.
For those unaware, the three-match series between Ireland and Bangladesh concludes the ICC ODI Super League. Seven countries have already qualified for the ODI World Cup, but Ireland and South Africa are still in contention for the eighth and final spot. With 98 points and a Net Run Rate (NRR) of -0.077, the Proteas are ranked eighth in the World Cup Super League standings. In contrast, team Ireland is ranked eleventh with 68 points and an NRR of -0.382.
While the Irish team faces an insurmountable battle against the Bangla Tigers, a 3-0 victory would grant them direct qualification to the World Cup at the expense of South Africa. However, Ireland will also need a significant victory in one of the three matches to improve their NRR, as they will be tied with the Proteas on points even if they win all of their matches.
The South African squad will be rooting for Bangladesh to win the matches in order to secure a spot in the ODI championship tournament. Notably, all three matches will occur at the County Cricket Ground in Chelmsford. It is the first occasion in 24 years that the venue has hosted a One-Day match, after hosting two World Cup matches in 1999.
Bangladesh defeated Ireland 2-0 in a three-match ODI series in March and will be aiming for a repeat performance. Conversely, the Irish team will be laser-focused on qualifying for the ODI World Cup, which will be held in India in October.