2025 Champions Trophy qualification at stake during ODI World Cup


The top seven sides at the end of the league stage of the ongoing ODI World Cup in India will qualify for the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy, along with hosts Pakistan, to compete in the eight-team event.

An ICC spokesperson confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that the qualification system for the 2025 Champions Trophy was approved by the ICC Board in 2021, when the competition was brought back as one of the eight men’s global tournaments to be held in the 2024-31 cycle.

The development has come as a surprise to a few boards – both whose teams are in India as well as others who missed making it to the ODI World Cup – who told ESPNcricinfo that they were unaware about qualification for the 2025 Champions Trophy being at stake in this tournament.

At present, Bangladesh and England are at No. 9 and 10 on the ODI World Cup points table, and therefore outside the top seven who will qualify for the Champions Trophy along with hosts Pakistan. “Yeah, I’m aware of that,” England captain Jos Buttler said when asked if he knew a place in the Champions Trophy was at stake following their loss to India in Lucknow. “And absolutely, it just proves we’ve still got lots to play for.”

This also means other Full-Member nations like West Indies, Zimbabwe and Ireland will not even have the opportunity to qualify for the tournament, by virtue of not having made it to the 2023 ODI World Cup.

In November 2021, the ICC had unveiled several global events for both men and women in the new cycle (2024-31) including two editions of the Champions Trophy – in 2025 and 2029. In a media statement, the ICC had said that the Champions Trophy would be an eight-team event and the tournament structure “will follow previous editions with two groups of four, semi-finals and final”.

For the 2013 and 2017 editions of the Champions Trophy, the top eight teams in the ODI rankings at a cut-off date qualified for the event. It is understood that the decision to have the top seven teams at this World Cup qualify for the 2025 Champions Trophy was approved originally by the ICC’s chief executives committee following which the ICC board ratified the recommendation.

One Full Member board confirmed that the qualification pathways for all the events were discussed and approved at the 2021 ICC meetings. For the 2027 men’s ODI World Cup, which will be a 14-team tournament co-hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia, the qualification process is: the two Full Member hosts – South Africa and Zimbabwe – plus eight highest-ranked teams as of March 31, 2027, and four remaining teams through global qualifier tournaments.

The qualification for the 2025 Champions Trophy was highlighted this week by Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan more than once. With his team almost out of the semi-final race in the ODI World Cup, Shakib spoke of the importance of finishing in the top eight. “I mean, not the semi-final hope. It is not a semi-final possibility,” Shakib said on Saturday, after Bangladesh were beaten by Netherlands. “At least, do a little better. Suppose, you have to be in the [top] ranking 8 if you want to play in the Champions Trophy. So, there are still three matches left considering that in mind.”

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