Kuwait to host World Cricket League Division 8
The ICC has announced that the inaugural World Cricket League Division 8 tournament, scheduled to take place in the latter part of 2010, will be hosted by Kuwait.
The eight-team tournament will extend the total number of participants in the global competition to 38, with the top two sides moving up to Division 7 and having the theoretical possibility of emulating Afghanistan by progressing all the way from the League's bottom tier to the qualifying tournament for the 2015 World Cup.
Five of the eight participants are already known: Gibraltar and Suriname were relegated from the Division 7 tournament which took place in Guernsey earlier this year, while Vanuatu qualified by winning the East Asia-Pacific Trophy in September.
With Asia being allocated an additional place because of the success of their sides in the League so far, the representatives from that region will be Kuwait and Bhutan, the only two participants in the ACC Elite Trophy which do not already have a WCL place.
The remaining three spots will be decided at regional tournaments scheduled to take place next year. One will come from the African Division 2 (possibly Zambia, Mozambique, Ghana or Malawi), one from the Americas Division 2 (Bahamas, Panama, Turks and Caicos or Brazil), and one from the European Division 2 (France, Germany or Israel).
The tournament will be played in two groups of four, with the top two sides from each group contesting the semi-finals.
Kuwait joined the ICC as an Affiliate member in 1998, and rose to Associate status in 2005. It has four grounds with turf pitches, and successfully hosted the ACC Under-19 Elite Cup earlier this year.
There will be a total of four World Cricket League tournaments in 2010: Division 5 in Nepal in February, Division 4 in Italy in early July, Division 1 in The Netherlands later in July, and Division 8 in Kuwait.