Thursday, March 16, 2006

Can Kenya Still Qualify For The Champions Trophy?

This question has been asked me several times, and there have been quite a few comments about it on various media. Here are the facts as I understand them:
  • To qualify for the Champions Trophy (CT), a team must be ranked in the top 10 according to the LG ICC rankings as of April 1st 2006.
  • Bangladesh are currently the 10th ranked team. Kenya need to get ahead of them to qualify for CT '06.
  • Currently Kenya are not ranked as they have not played enough games.
  • The Kendrix Report (was available on the ICC's web page earlier, but I can no longer find it), includes a recommendation on the criteria for a team to move from stage II (having a rating, but no ranking) to Stage III (having a rating, and a ranking):

"My recommendation is that for a team to be ranked, it should have completed at least ten rated ODIs during the period covered by the ratings, i.e. the past 2-3 years. "

  • Kenya has to date played SIX ODI's in this ratings period. Two in CT '04, and four just recently in Zimbabwe.
  • To attain a rating, the Associate must have won at least two of these ten matches. Kenya did that in Zimbabwe.
  • Again from the Kendrix Report

"A team, having fulfilled the promotion criteria, will immediately receive a rating, but may then need to play further ODIs in order to achieve a full ranking. However, if at the time of its promotion, it has already played at least ten qualifying matches against teams that at the time were themselves rated, they would proceed straight to a ranking and thus bypass stage II."

  • According to this, on completion of the 4th ODI against Bangladesh, Kenya will have a ranking, as all the criteria have been filled.
  • There is an ICC meeting coming up next week in which they will decide how many matches Kenya need to have played to qualify for a ranking. This is an excerpt from their website (full story here):

"Kenya are yet to play the minimum number of matches required to earn themselves a place on the LG ICC ODI Championship table - that number will be determined at next week's ICC Executive Board meeting in Dubai - but if it is decided it should be eight then their four matches in Bangladesh will take them over that threshold.
If that is the case then Kenya could qualify for the Champions Trophy ahead of Bangladesh unless the home side wins their series by at least two clear matches (for example, by 3-1)."

  • Going into the series, Bangladesh have 17 poins, Kenya have 37. Assuming that all four matches are completed, three results would see Kenya finish with a higher Rating and therefore Ranking than Bangladesh: 4-0 to Kenya, 3-1 to Kenya, or a 2-2 draw. If Bangladesh win the series, they leapfrog us on the table.

Note that the ICC website only recognises the matches Kenya have played this year. To my reading, that goes against both the system used for ranking teams, and against the recommendation made in the Kendrix Report.

It is a fairly complicated scenario, and it is to some extent left up to the ICC as to whether Kenya will qualify for the CT or not. My reading, based on their website, and on earlier articles is they may well decide that 8 matches suffice, and so it will be down to the series result. I believe that this is unneccessary intervention, as going by the Kendrix recommendation, Kenya will have PLAYED 10 matches in the last 2 years anyway. Again, it would then be down to the series result.

My conclusion: If Kenya can win two of the four matches in Bangladesh, we will qualify for a place in CT '06, unless some sort of skullduggery goes on. It is a huge ask, but certainly possible. Again, this will put pressure on Bangladesh. They are expected whitewash Kenya and to go to the CT by almost everyone connected with cricket. If Kenya even look like getting in their way, I would not want to be a Bangladesh team member - the fans will go nuts, the World press will go nuts and the BCCI will probably go bananas. As for me? I'll have a banana sundae with nut sprinkle and pray that the ICC gives us a fair go.


Jason said...

Hmm.. Things seem clearer now...


Chemosit said...

lol - yeah, its a bit like that.