August marked the start of the road to the Cricket World Cup 2023 with the first CWC League 2 series getting underway, this week the first-ever CWC Challenge League takes place which sits three steps away from India 2023 at the foot of the pathway.
There are two Challenge Leagues A and B, each comprising six teams that will play 15 matches each over two and half years. Canada, Denmark, Malaysia, Singapore, Qatar and Vanuatu form group A, whilst group B consists of Bermuda, Hong Kong, Italy, Jersey, Kenya and Uganda.
Malaysia will host the first CWC Challenge League A between 16 and 26 September with each team playing five matches across 11 days.
Teams will compete in Challenge League A and B once a year respectively in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The league will see a total of 90 competitive 50 over List A matches for teams ranked 21-32. The top team in each league at the culmination of the competition will secure two of the six places in the Cricket World Cup Qualifier Play-Off to be held in 2022, alongside the bottom four of CWC League 2.
Malaysia captain, Ahmad Faiz said: "We are excited to host the first leg of the CWC Challenge League A. The team has trained hard for this tournament. We are definitely looking forward to playing against the contending teams and strive towards as many wins as possible."
Denmark captain, Hamid Shah said: "I am very much looking forward to the new event structure, it gives us the opportunity to compete against some very strong teams over three tournaments.
"A lot of cricket is ahead of us and the guys are very excited about to play in the first Challenge League in Malaysia. We have had some success in Malaysia before, so hopefully we can continue from where we left."
Vanuatu captain, Andrew Mansale said: "As our team matures I am really looking forward to us playing better cricket. This is the highest level the Vanuatu has attained and we will continue to get better. I have faith in my players and our management. Myself and our new coach are expecting some really good performances from everyone in the team."
The first CWC Challenge League B event is scheduled to take place between 25 November and 9 December and will be hosted by Hong Kong.
The Challenge Leagues will run concurrently with the CWC League 2 and the CWC Super League which has a start date of May 2020.
The match schedule, six squads and match officials for the first CWC Challenge A, being held in Kuala Lumpur from 16-26 September 2019 are as follows:
- 16 September: Denmark v Malaysia (Kinrara Oval)
- 17 September: Singapore v Qatar (Kinrara Oval), Canada v Vanuatu (Selangor Turf Club)
- 18 September: Rest day
- 19 September: Canada v Malaysia (Kinrara Oval), Singapore v Denmark (Selangor Turf Club)
- 20 September: Denmark v Vanuatu (Kinrara Oval), Malaysia v Qatar (Selangor Turf Club)
- 21 September: Rest day
- 22 September: Canada v Qatar (Kinrara Oval), Singapore v Vanuatu (Selangor Turf Club)
- 23 September: Singapore v Malaysia (Kinrara Oval), Denmark v Qatar (Selangor Turf Club)
- 24 September: Rest day
- 25 September: Canada v Denmark (Kinrara Oval), Malaysia v Vanuatu (Selangor Turf Club)
- 26 September: Vanuatu v Qatar (Kinrara Oval), Canada v Singapore (Selangor Turf Club)
All matches start at 10:00am local time.
Canada: Navneet Dhaliwal (captain), Abraash Khan, Cecil Pervez, Dilon Heyliger, Hamza Tariq, Harsh Thaker, Nikhil Dutta, Nitish Kumar, Ravinderpal Singh, Rodrigo Thomas, Romesh Galkandage Don, Saad Zafar, Shahid Ahmadzai, Srimantha Wijeyeratne
Denmark:Hamid Shah (captain), Rizwan Mahmood, Monty Singh, Oliver Hald, Anique Uddin, Zameeer Khan, Jino Jojo, Nicolaj Damgaard, Lucky Malik, Zishan Shah, Jonas Henriksen, Delawar Khan, Abdul Wahab, Frederik Klokker, Bashir Shah
Malaysia:Ahmad Faiz Mohammad Noor (captain), Muhamad Syahadat Ramli, Abdul Rashid Ahad, Mohd Nazril Abdul Rahman, Mohd Suharril Fetri Shuid, Muhammad Anwar Abdul Rahman, Mohamad Norwira Zazmie Abdul Halim, Pavandeep Singh Jagjit Singh, Syed Aziz Syed Mubarak, Muhammad Hafiz Khair, Virandeep Singh Jagjit Singh, Aminuddin Ramly, Dhivendran Mogan
Qatar: Kamran Khan, Saqlain Arshad, Muhammad Awais Malik, Zaheeruddeen Ibrahim, Iqbal Hussain Chaudhry, Qalandar Khan, Muhammad Nadeem, Dharmang Hasmukh Patel, Mohammad Rizlan, Gayan Buddika, Musawar Shah, Syed Yousuf Tameem, Owais Ahmed, Khurram Shahzad
Singapore:Amjad Mahboob (captain), Aahan Gopianth Achar, Rezza Gaznavi, Anantha Krisha, Aryaman Uchil, Manpreet Singh, Vinoth Baskaran, Rohan Rangarajan, Sidhant Singh, Navin Param, Arjun Mutreja, Timothy Hays David, Surendan Chandramohan, Avi Dixit
Vanuatu:Andrew Mansale (captain), Patrick Matautaava, Jamal Vira, Jelany Chilia, Apo Stephen, Nalin Nipiko, Kalo Shem, Williamsing Nalisa, Josh Rasu, Wesly Viraliliu, Clement Tommy, Ronald Tari, Shane Deitz, Simpson Obed, Trevor Langa, Callum Blake, Sampson Kalworai, Junior Kaltapau