New Zealand and Bangladesh to kick off ODI series

Dubai [UAE]: New Zealand will kick off a three-match home series against Bangladesh in Napier on February 13, aiming to move up to third position in the ODI team rankings as the sides prepare for the World Cup 2019 in England and Wales.

The Kiwi side will need to win 3-0 to overtake South Africa in the rankings but the Proteas too will have a shot at improving their position in the coming weeks as nine of the 10 teams to feature in the prestigious tournament.

Table leaders England will take on West Indies in a five-match series, starting February 20 knowing that a series loss could give a chance to India to overtake them just weeks ahead of the World Cup.

If England lose the series to West Indies and India win a subsequent home series against Australia by a 4-1 margin, the 2011 champions will be at the top of the table by March 13.

Similarly, Australia could overtake Pakistan with a series win by any margin over second-ranked India while 10th ranked Afghanistan would be aiming to close the gap with two-times champions West Indies, as the Asian side take on Ireland in a five-match home series being played in the Indian city of Dehradun from February 28.

The much-awaited World Cup is slated to take place from May 30 to July 14 in England and Wales.