Bigger Teams May Miss Playoffs at Cricket World Cup

England is running out of chances, as the Cricket World Cup’s qualifying games wind down.

When play resumes Tuesday after an off day, 19 of the 42 pool matches will be left to play. Only one team has qualified for the playoffs so far, the co-host, New Zealand.

England has two matches left, against Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It would usually expect to beat both — which should be enough for qualification — but after starting 1-3, nothing is certain.

Veteran England fans may be used to the occasional humiliation, but nothing like what happened Sunday against Sri Lanka.

Alongside the brilliance of established stars like De Villiers and Sangakkara, cricket fans have been introduced to new players like the United Arab Emirates duo of Shaiman Anwar and Amjad Javed, both of whom played superbly against Ireland. Their performances have given another argument against shrinking the next World Cup, in 2019, from 14 teams to 10.

A version of this article appears in print on March 3, 2015, in The International New York Times. Order Reprints| Today’s Paper|Subscribe

Go to Home Page »