Cricket, of all the games, can be called the most unpredictable. This is one game where, on their day, any team can beat any team in the world.
Interestingly, the World Cup is the only stage where the minnows get a chance to fight against the big boys. Although these clashes can be dull at times, there have been numerous occasions where the underdogs have created huge upsets.
Let us look at the list of 5 nations we will miss in the upcoming World Cup.
The Scots have been a regular at World Cups.They qualified for 1999, 2007 and 2015 edition of the mega-event. Although their record at the mega-events hasn't been great, they have always put up a great fight.
Scotland is among the strongest of associates and many of its players play in the English county.
Given their recent performance in ICC world cup qualifiers, they should have been a part of the next World Cup.
Scotland played some great cricket beating Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Nepal on the trot. Sadly, it was the average umpiring which cost them the match against Ireland and West Indies, thereby, shattering their world cup hopes.
#4 The Netherlands
They come across as a very professional team. The European nation has always been competitive at the World Cups. Although they haven't created any upsets, the Dutch always look promising.
Their best performance came in the 2011 cricket world cup. They came very close in the game against England. The Netherlands made 292/6 with Ryan Ten Doeschate top scoring 119 from 110 balls but unfortunately for them, England chased down the target with 2 balls to spare.
Unlike Scotland, the Dutch had an average outing in the qualifiers and lost 3 matches in the group stage against Ireland, UAE and West Indies. As a result, they were out of the reckoning for the world cup spot.
2003 cricket world cup will always be known for upsets. It was Kenya, who left everyone dumbstruck with their performances. First, they qualified for super-sixes and then, to everyone's surprise, they reached the semi-finals.
Interestingly, the African nation became the only non-test playing nation to ever reach the semi-finals of a world cup. Their biggest win came against Sri Lanka.
The team had its own flair and charisma and performed like they had nothing to lose. Their juggernaut came to a halt in the semi-final against India.
Kenya were recently relegated to division 3 after a dismal show in the ICC world cricket league division 2. Once a promising cricket nation, the journey of the African nation has been disheartening.
They have a knack of creating upsets in world cups ever since they were an associate member. Zimbabwe beat Australia in the group stage of the 1983 World Cup. It was their first World Cup and Australia were one the title favourites.
In the 1992 cricket World Cup, they created another upset by beating England. Later, they were granted test status in 1992. By the 1999 cricket World Cup, Zimbabwe were not considered minnows any more as they beat India and South Africa.
However, due to the internal crisis in Zimbabwe, their cricket has suffered. In their golden era in the late 90s, they were a team to beat.
Zimbabwe played some good cricket in the recently concluded ICC world cup qualifiers. However, it was the heart-breaking loss to the UAE in the super sixes that put them out of contention for the upcoming world cup.
Zimbabwe will not be playing in the world cup for the first time since becoming an associate member in 1981.
Victories against Pakistan and Bangladesh in the 2007 World Cup, an astounding run-chase against England in the 2011 World Cup and an emphatic victory against West Indies in the 2015 World Cup, Ireland have come leaps and bounds in international cricket. As a result, they were awarded the full-membership in 2017.
Consisting of players like O'Brien brothers, William Porterfield and Boyd Rankin etc., Ireland are good enough to beat any side in the world.
Ireland came agonizingly close to sealing a world cup spot, failing only at the last hurdle against a rampant Afghanistan.
With the 2019 cricket world cup being a 10 team tournament, Ireland won't be seen in the upcoming marquee event. It's a shame Ireland won't be playing the next world cup.