ICC Intercontinental Cup
AdministratorInternational Cricket Council
FormatFirst-class cricket
First edition2004
Latest edition2015–17
Tournament formatRound-robin and knockout
Number of teamsVaries
(Highest 14)
(Recently 8)
Current champion Afghanistan (2nd title)
Most successful Ireland (4 titles)
Most runsKenya Steve Tikolo (1,918)[1]
Most wicketsIreland Trent Johnston (81)[2]

The ICC Intercontinental Cup was a first-class cricket tournament organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC) as part of its cricket development programme. It was designed to allow Associate Members of the ICC the chance to play first-class cricket matches over four days against teams of similar skill in a competition environment and prepare them for eventual promotion to Test cricket status. First run in 2004, two of the most successful teams in the history of the tournament, Ireland and Afghanistan were promoted to Full Member and Test status, in 2017.

In October 2018, the ICC issued a media release asking for an expression of interest from teams who have competed in previous editions of the tournament.[3] However, since no further news regarding a new edition have emerged since then, the future of the tournament was put into doubt.[4][5] In April 2021, the ICC looked at the possibility of multi-day matches between Associate Members with One Day International (ODI) status, and Test teams who are not part of the ICC World Test Championship.[6]

Tournament history

2004 ICC Intercontinental Cup

Main article: 2004 ICC Intercontinental Cup

The inaugural ICC Intercontinental Cup was completed on 22 November 2004 when Scotland won the title in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.[7] Scotland beat Canada by an innings and 84 runs in the final. The competition included 12 teams, divided by geographical region into four groups of three. Each team played the other two teams in its group once each. The top team in each group then progresses to the semi-finals, and the winners of those to the final. In order to encourage competitive play and avoid deadlocks, a point system including bonus points was used.

2005 ICC Intercontinental Cup

Main article: 2005 ICC Intercontinental Cup

Hong Kong came in to replace Malaysia, and the Cayman Islands replaced the United States who were ejected from the competition by the ICC because of then ongoing political problems within cricket in the US.[8] The points system was also modified so that teams could score unlimited batting points in the first innings and a maximum of 4 points in the second innings.

The tournament was won by Ireland who defeated Kenya in the final.[9]

2006–2007 ICC Intercontinental Cup

Main article: 2006–07 ICC Intercontinental Cup

The tournament was cut from 12 to eight teams, with Hong Kong, the Cayman Islands and Uganda losing the right to participate, while Namibia knocked out Nepal in a play off for the eighth place. The match length was extended from three to four days, and each team was scheduled to play at least three matches. The teams were divided into two groups of four, with each team playing the other once and the top two teams qualifying for the final, and the points system has also been changed: 14 points are now awarded for a win, and six for a first-innings lead. Due to preparations for the 2007 World Cup and the longer tournament, the final was played in May 2007, where Ireland defeated Canada to defend their title.

2007–2008 ICC Intercontinental Cup

Main article: 2007–08 ICC Intercontinental Cup

The 2007–08 tournament was played as a single round-robin league of eight teams, so that each team played seven matches.[10] The teams ranked first and second at the end of the pool stage contested the final.

Namibia finished on top at the pool stage, but lost the final against second placed Ireland in late October in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Ireland thus completed a hat-trick of Intercontinental Cup victories, having been undefeated in the competition, and having won three consecutive make-or-break away fixtures in Africa (against Namibia, Kenya and Namibia again) to clinch the title.

2009–10 ICC Intercontinental Cup

Main article: 2009–10 ICC Intercontinental Cup

The 2009–10 tournament was expanded to two divisions and 11 teams.[11] Ireland, the Netherlands, Scotland, Canada, Kenya, and Afghanistan played in the top division, joined by Zimbabwe A. Meanwhile, United Arab Emirates, Namibia, Bermuda and Uganda played in the Intercontinental Shield. Afghanistan won their first title, beating Scotland in the final.

2011–13 ICC Intercontinental Cup

Main article: 2011–13 ICC Intercontinental Cup

In December 2010, the ICC announced that the 2011–13 tournament would revert to the 8 team, single division format of the 2007–08 season and that the Intercontinental Shield would be scrapped. The sixth staging of the Cup ran from June 2011 to October 2013. and included the top six associate and affiliate teams with One Day International status (ICC World Cricket League Division 1); Afghanistan, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands and Scotland. The remaining two places were allotted to UAE and Namibia who finished in the top two of the ICC Intercontinental Shield and ICC World Cricket League Division 2.[12] Later the ICC Development Committee decided to select the 3rd and 4th placed teams from the ICC World Cricket League Division 2 (Bermuda and Uganda) and two qualifiers to proceed from WCL Division 3 (Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea) bringing the total to 12 teams.[13] A 50-over tournament was run alongside the re-expanded Intercontinental Cup.[12]

The final of the 2011-13 competition was held in December 2013 between Ireland and Afghanistan, with Ireland winning their 4th Intercontinental Cup title.

2015–17 ICC Intercontinental Cup

Main article: 2015–17 ICC Intercontinental Cup

In the wake of changes announced by ICC following its revamp in January 2014 when India, Australia and England Cricket Boards gained more control it was declared that the next winner of the Intercontinental Cup would get an opportunity to play 4 tests (2 home and 2 away) against the bottom ranked test nation and if the associate nation wins that series they would then gain Test status until the next Intercontinental Cup.[14] However, with Ireland and Afghanistan gaining test status in June 2017 the Test challenge was not held.[15][16][17] Ireland, Afghanistan, Scotland, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, PNG, The Netherlands and Namibia qualified based on the results from 2011–13 ICC World Cricket League Championship, 2014 Cricket World Cup Qualifier and the 2015 ICC World Cricket League Division Two. It ran in parallel with the 2015–17 ICC World Cricket League Championship but with slightly different teams. As Ireland and Afghanistan had qualified for the ICC One-Day International Championship ranking qualification process, they were replaced by Kenya and Nepal in the limited over event; however they continued to play the four-day event. Afghanistan won the tournament after defeating UAE during the final round.[18]

Team records

Overall Record
Year Winner Runner-Up
2004  Scotland  Canada
2005  Ireland  Kenya
2006–07  Ireland  Canada
2007–08  Ireland  Namibia
2009–10  Afghanistan  Scotland
2011–13  Ireland  Afghanistan
2015–17  Afghanistan  Ireland

Teams' performances

An overview of the teams' performances in every Intercontinental Cup:

Team 2004 2005 2006–07 2007–08 2009–10 2011–13 2015–17
 Afghanistan DNC DNC DNC DNC W RU W
 Bermuda GS SF GS 8th 11th DNC DNC
 Canada RU GS RU 7th 7th 6th DNC
 Ireland GS W W W 4th W RU
 Kenya SF RU GS 3rd 5th 7th DNC
 Namibia GS GS GS RU 8th 5th 8th
 Netherlands GS GS GS 5th 6th 8th 3rd
 Papua New Guinea DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC DNC 7th
 Scotland W GS GS 4th RU 3rd 6th
 Uganda GS GS DNC DNC 10th DNC DNC
 United Arab Emirates SF SF GS 6th 9th 4th 5th

All time table

The abandoned match between Scotland and Kenya in 2008, the forfeited match between Zimbabwe and Scotland in 2010 and the abandoned match between Hong Kong and Scotland in 2016 are not included. Complete up to the end of 2017.[19]

Team TP TW M W L D Win%
 Ireland 7 4 39 25 3 11 64.1%
 Scotland 7 1 33 11 8 14 33.3%
 Netherlands 7 33 7 16 10 21.2%
 Namibia 6 34 15 14 5 44.1%
 Kenya 6 28 9 12 7 32.1%
 United Arab Emirates 6 34 9 14 11 26.5%
 Canada 6 29 6 18 5 20.7%
 Bermuda 4 15 3 11 4 16.7%
 Afghanistan 3 2 22 17 1 4 77.3%
   Nepal 2 5 2 0 3 40.0%
 Uganda 2 7 2 4 1 28.6%
 Hong Kong 2 8 2 4 2 25.0%
 Zimbabwe XI 1 5 3 0 2 60.0%
 United States 1 2 1 1 0 50.0%
 Papua New Guinea 1 7 2 4 1 28.6%
 Malaysia 1 2 0 2 0 0.0%
 Cayman Islands 1 2 0 2 0 0.0%

Key: TP/TW=Tournaments participated/won, M=Matches played, W/L/D=wins/losses/draws, Win%=percentage of games won.

Intercontinental Shield Record
Year Winner Runner-Up
2009–10  Namibia  United Arab Emirates

In 2009 a second competition, the Intercontinental Shield, was introduced for the four teams placing 7th through 10th in the 2009 World Cup Qualifier. The matches are also first-class and the rules and points system are the same as for the Intercontinental Cup. The current teams in the Intercontinental Shield are Bermuda, Namibia, Uganda and United Arab Emirates. In December 2010 after the end of the Intercontinental Shield the ICC announced that it would be scrapping the Shield competition and returning to the 8 team Intercontinental Cup format of the 2007–08 season.[13]

Complete up to the 2010 final between the UAE and Namibia.

Team TP TW M W L D Win%
 Namibia 1 1 4 3 1 0 75.0%
 United Arab Emirates 1 4 2 1 1 62.5%
 Uganda 1 3 1 1 1 50.0%
 Bermuda 1 3 0 3 0 0.0%

Key: TP/TW=Tournaments participated/won, M=Matches played, W/L/D=wins/losses/draws, Win%=percentage of games won, a draw counts as half of a win.

Records and statistics

Team records

Highest totals
Team Total Opponent Year
 Namibia 630/7  Kenya 2012
 Bermuda 620  Netherlands 2006
 Namibia 609  Uganda 2010
 Zimbabwe XI 590  Ireland 2010
 Ireland 589/7  UAE 2013

Source: ESPNcricinfo. Last updated 3 June 2015.

Lowest totals
Team Total Opponent Year
 Bermuda 56  UAE 2010
 Ireland 69  Namibia 2008
 Ireland 75  Kenya 2012
 UAE 76    Nepal 2005
 Canada 79  Scotland 2008
 UAE  Namibia 2010

Source: ESPNcricinfo. Last updated 3 June 2015.

Largest winning margins (by Innings)
Team Margin Opponent Year
 Canada innings and 228 runs  UAE 2007
 Namibia innings and 185 runs  Bermuda 2010
 Afghanistan innings and 173 runs  Hong Kong 2017
 Afghanistan innings and 172 runs  Ireland 2017
 Ireland innings and 170 runs  UAE 2007

Source: ESPNcricinfo. Last updated 3 June 2015.

Largest winning margins (by Runs)
Team Margin Opponent Year
 Ireland 279 runs  Netherlands 2013
 Hong Kong 276 runs  United Arab Emirates 2015
 United Arab Emirates 266 runs  Kenya 2011
 Kenya 247 runs  Canada 2009
 Netherlands 231 runs  Namibia 2017

Source: ESPNcricinfo. Last updated 3 June 2015.

Largest winning margins (by Wickets)
Team Margin Opponent Year
 Namibia 10 wickets  Uganda 2010
 Afghanistan  Namibia 2013
 United Arab Emirates 2017
9 wickets  Canada 2011
 Canada  Bermuda 2006
 Ireland  United Arab Emirates 2008
 Kenya  Canada 2007
   Nepal  Malaysia 2004
 United Arab Emirates  Bermuda 2010
 Namibia 2013
 Papua New Guinea 2017

Source: ESPNcricinfo. Last updated 22 March 2018.

Individual records

Most runs
Player Team Span Mat Inns Runs Avg Highest 100s 50s
Steve Tikolo  Kenya 2004–2010 19 32 1,918 63.93 220 6 7
Arshad Ali  UAE 2004–2013 24 46 1,756 39.90 185 4 9
William Porterfield  Ireland 2006–2017 24 39 1,743 47.10 186 5 8
Khurram Khan  UAE 2004–2015 24 43 1,730 43.25 121* 4 10
Saqib Ali  UAE 2006–2015 18 34 1,620 54.00 195 6 6

Source: ESPNcricinfo. Last updated 27 October 2015.

Highest scores
Player Score Team Opponent Year
Ryan ten Doeschate 259*  Netherlands  Canada 2006
David Hemp 247*  Bermuda  Netherlands 2006
Ed Joyce 231  Ireland  UAE 2015
Gerrie Snyman 230  Namibia  Kenya 2008
Steve Tikolo 220  Kenya  Bermuda 2005

Source: ESPNcricinfo. Last updated 3 June 2015.

Highest partnerships
No. Runs Players For Against Year
1st 374 Raymond van Schoor & Ewald Steenkamp  Namibia  Bermuda 2010
2nd 326 William Porterfield & Ed Joyce  Ireland  Namibia 2015
3rd 360 Eoin Morgan & Andre Botha  Ireland  UAE 2007
4th 267 Steve Tikolo & Hitesh Modi  Kenya  Ireland 2005
5th 214* Kevin O'Brien & Andrew White  Ireland  Kenya 2008
6th 288* Ben Cooper & Pieter Seelaar  Netherlands  Hong Kong 2017
7th 219 David Hemp & Saleem Mukuddem  Bermuda  Netherlands 2006
8th 161 Vusi Sibanda & Regis Chakabva  Zimbabwe XI  Kenya 2009
9th 180 Sunil Dhaniram & Kevin Sandher  Canada  UAE 2007
10th 71 Khurram Chohan & Hiral Patel  Canada  Afghanistan 2010

Source: ESPNcricinfo. Last updated 22 March 2018.

Most wickets
Player Team Span Mat Overs Wkts Avg Best 5 10
Trent Johnston  Ireland 2004–2013 25 577.1 91 16.35 6/23 3 0
Umar Bhatti  Canada 2004–2010 18 491.0 78 20.56 8/40 7 2
Hiren Varaiya  Kenya 2006–2013 18 566.4 77 21.66 6/22 7 2
Louis Klazinga  Namibia 2006–2013 18 491.4 74 21.14 5/20 3 0
Dwayne Leverock  Bermuda 2004–2008 15 685.5 71 26.47 7/57 6 2

Source: ESPNcricinfo. Last updated 3 June 2015.

Best bowling figures
Player Figures Team Opponent Year
Ali Asad 9/74  UAE    Nepal 2004
John Davison 9/76  Canada  United States 2004
Ian van Zyl 8/34  Namibia  Ireland 2006
Umar Bhatti 8/40  Canada  Bermuda 2005
John Davison 8/61  Canada  United States 2004

Source: ESPNcricinfo. Last updated 3 June 2015.


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