How can South Africa qualify directly for ODI World Cup 2023?

The team is in a must-win situation at the moment.

By Damini Basu

Updated - Jan 31, 2023, 16:10 IST

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South Africa are desperate to be able to avoid the embarrassing qualification scenario for the all-important upcoming 50-overs World Cup, scheduled to be played in India later this year, around October and November.

Surprisingly though, they are still not certain if they will be able to even participate in the upcoming World Cup, let alone play. This is because they are still quite behind the required amount of qualification points to be successfully recognised by the International Cricket Council (ICC), to feature in the mega event.

How can South Africa still 'automatically' qualify?

South Africa's hunt for an automatic World Cup qualification got a major boost on Sunday, January 29, 2023, when the Proteas managed a stupendous run-chase against England in the second ODI, in Bloemfontein. South Africa won the match by 5 wickets, courtesy some brilliant batting display from the batters even though the match had gone down to the wire.

The main man for the Proteas in that clash was their skipper Temba Bavuma, who struck a brilliant century to lay a smooth platform and  seal the ongoing 3-match series taking an unassailable 2-0 over England. It is to be noted that the three-match series is part of the International Cricket Council's World Cup Super League, from which the top eight teams will qualify for the World Cup in India in October and November.

South Africa will need to win at least three of their remaining five fixtures - they also have to play two matches against the Netherlands - to climb above West Indies, who are currently in eighth place after completing their programme. 

There has been a massive conundrum in South Africa's World Cup qualification journey. They themselves set their feet on the axe when they chose to withdraw from a scheduled ODI series in Australia earlier this year. But back-to-back wins in this ongoing series against England has given the Proteas some hope of avoiding the tricky qualifiers in Zimbabwe in June.

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