The Netherlands campaign to claim the 13th spot in the ICC's planned ODI league has been dealt a grave blow in London this week, if reports are to be believed.

Currently in pole position in the World Cricket League Championship with two rounds to go, the Dutch had looked well-placed to claim the coveted slot in the League - planned to start after the 2019 World Cup, which would (as originally envisaged) have guaranteed them some 36 ODI fixtures against full-member opposition over the course of three years - more than they have played in their history.

The league was to have comprised the ten established full members, as well as Ireland and Afghanistan (who were elevated to full membership last week) together with the winner of the World Cricket League Championship, as was announced following the previous ICC meeting in February of this year.

However reports now emerging from the ICC Annual Meeting in London suggest the ICC is backtracking on that commitment, with the 13th team now set to be decided either by the next (presumably dramatically abbreviated) WCL Championship, or - worse still for the Dutch - on the basis of the Associate ODI rankings at an as-yet-undecided cut-off date chosen by the ICC.

The latter prospect would see the United Arab Emirates - currently languishing at the very bottom of the WCLC table - suddenly elevated to the position of favourites. The Dutch meanwhile would be out of contention entirely as things stand - having dropped out of the full ODI rankings table* after falling at the group stages at the 2015 World Cup Qualifier.

Even were the cut-off point delayed until after the World Cup, allowing the Dutch a chance to reclaim their ODI status before the 13th spot is awarded, the paucity of fixtures makes it unlikely that they would be able play enough ODIs to qualify for the rankings table in time.

Though no official reversal has been announced as yet, ICC CEO Dave Richardson told reporters in a conference call after the London meeting on Thursday that the decision to award the 13th spot to the winner of the current WCLC was not confirmed, and that no final decision had been taken.


 *Having a 60+% winning record against Associates together with a win over a full member was sufficient for promotion from the Associates table to the full table under the system in use at the time, consequently the Netherlands were not part of the Associates ranking table when they lost ODI status.