Dubai, Mar 18: Ireland will be aiming to win the ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Championship's double-header against the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a result that will put them on the verge of qualifying directly for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. The 50-over non-ODI matches will be played on Monday (March 18) and Wednesday (March 20) in Sharjah.
Ireland currently lead Scotland and Afghanistan in the eight-team tournament by two points. Back-to-back victories in the fifth round of the WCL Championship will put the European side on 17 points, which in turn will all but guarantee it a top two finish in the tournament and direct qualification to its third consecutive ICC Cricket World Cup.
On the other side of the coin, the UAE may be sitting in sixth position in the WCL Championship, but, if they win both matches, the UAE will rocket to the top of the table and throw the WCL Championship wide open, with only two rounds of the tournament remaining, an ICC media release said.
Ireland's final two round opponents are Scotland and the Netherlands, while the UAE will play Canada and Namibia. The current windows for round six and seven fixtures are July-August and September-October, respectively. Final dates and venues for the fixtures will be announced in due course.
As part of the ICC's initiative to promote elite cricket played by the top Associate and Affiliate Members, both of the crucial 50-over matches between Ireland and UAE will be streamed live at www.icc-cricket.com. The ICC also live streamed the fifth round matches played between Afghanistan and Scotland earlier this month, making this the first time that multiple WCL Championship matches will be broadcast to a global audience.