Six others likely to get ODI status

New Delhi, August 22:

As many as six more countries could be playing one-day international cricket with the existing 11 nations — 10 Test teams and Kenya — well before the year is out. The six countries would be culled from the Netherlands, Bermuda, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, the United Arab Emirates, Uganda, Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Denmark and the US.

The top six second-string, or associate, countries could soon play ODIs against the Test nations to give them more exposure at the highest level before the ICC formally gives them the ODI — and then Test — status.

“We are now able to rank the top six associates. So these are the teams that are in consideration for games against full members,” a source close to ICC said. This issue of giving more experience to the associate members would top the agenda as the ICC tries to restructure the global Test schedule at the Scheduling Summit in Dubai on Thursday and Friday.

The ICC has perhaps already ranked the six top associate members according to their performances, particularly after the recent ICC Trophy, a 2007 World Cup qualifying tournament for these countries. Five countries — the Netherlands, Bermuda, Canada, Ireland and Scotland — have progressed to the World Cup. It is possible that the top six countries may include all of the above named nations and some from amongst UAE, Uganda, Namibia, Papua New Guinea, Denmark and the US, all of which failed to qualify from the ICC Trophy in Ireland last month.