Former world champion Pakistan hosts Zimbabwe in the ICC men’s World Cup Super League series in Rawalpindi from Friday as the teams begin their qualification campaign for the 2023 World Cup, scheduled to be held in India.
A record of losing just one out of 19 ODIs over six previous home series against Zimbabwe would give new captain Babar Azam confidence ahead of their opening series of the Super League, introduced to bring context to ODI cricket and to confirm the top seven teams with direct spots for the World Cup along with host India.
Featuring 13 teams, the 12 ICC full members and the Netherlands, who qualified by winning the ICC World Cricket League Championship 2015-17, the Super League will see sides play eight three-match series each, four at home and four away.
The sides failing to qualify directly will get a second shot through a Qualifier.
Each team gets 10 points for a win, five for a tie / no result / abandonment and none for a loss. Teams will be ranked according to total points earned across the eight series.
England on top
England, which on the ICC men’s World Cup as host last year, leads the points table with 30 points after featuring in both series played so far. It beat Ireland 2-1 before losing to Australia by the same margin last month.
Babar, who was player of the series in Pakistan’s last ODI rubber against Sri Lanka played over a year ago, is the top-ranked player from either side in the ICC men’s ODI player rankings.