Six players are expected to stand out in the Cricket World Cup Qualification Playoff.

The race to play in this year’s ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 is heating up, and six teams will have the opportunity to move one step closer when they compete in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualification Playoff in Namibia, which begins on Sunday.

The top two teams from the playoff will advance to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier, which will be held in Zimbabwe in the middle of the year, with six players who will be crucial for their teams during the event.

Kaleem Sana, Canada

If Canada hopes to upset some of its more fancied adversaries at the event, Sana must make an early impact when bowling with the new ball.

Sana has demonstrated the ability to swing the ball in the past, and the left-armer will want to do it once more to offer Canada the best chance of finishing in the top two spots in the standings.

The 29-year-old did earn a five-wicket haul for Canada in their final Challenge League game at the close of last year, and as a result, he will arrive in Namibia with confidence.

Asa Tribe, New Jersey

The young all-rounder has been identified as a talent to watch for some time, and his promise may be realised at this event if given the opportunity to shine.

Tribe is an aggressive top-order batsman and a competent spin bowler, and the 18-year-old could be ready to demonstrate his full potential in this inexperienced Jersey squad.

While Jersey does not have as much international cricket experience as other of their competitors at this event, players like Tribe may be able to exploit that to their advantage if their opponents underestimate them.

Namibia: Gerhard Erasmus

Erasmus was the best run-scorer for all teams in the just concluded ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 event, scoring 1298 runs at an average of 43.

The 27-year-old is a model of consistency with the bat and a more than capable off-spinner with the ball, but his greatest strength as captain may be his tactical acumen.

Erasmus is also the event’s highest-rated ODI batter, ranked #36 in the world, and will be crucial to the hosts’ prospects of finishing in the top two slots and qualifying for the Cricket World Cup Qualifier.

Tony Ura, Papua New Guinea

The seasoned opener has been in fantastic form for Papua New Guinea recently and will be counted on to lead his team off to a good start during the tournament.

Ura has scored at least 35 runs in his past four One-Day Internationals, including two half-centuries and a best of 51 against the UAE in Dubai at the end of last month.

Ura’s bat will be needed if Papua New Guinea is to finish in the top two slots in the Qualification Playoff, as the aggressive right-hander will always score his runs quickly.

Junaid Siddique, United Arab Emirates

While it was tempting to pick in-form batter Muhammad Waseem as the key man for the UAE, seasoned quick Junaid Siddique may wind up being more important to their qualification aspirations.

Siddique demonstrated his ability to swing the white ball early at last year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, and the right-armer has the ability to deliver with strong pace that will unnerve opposing batters.

It’s worth remembering that Siddique was the UAE’s leading wicket-taker in League 2 last season, with 43 scalps at an average of little over 25, and the 30-year-old will need to replicate that form in Namibia.

Aaron Jones, United States

The United States vice-captain has been in excellent form recently and should be buoyed by his selection for the inaugural Major League Cricket competition later this year.

Jones was a key member of the United States’ top-order during their recent ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 campaign, amassing 1184 runs at an average of more than 42.

Only teammate and captain Monank Patel (1219) scored more runs for the USA in that League 2 run, and the pair will be critical components of the side’s top order in Namibia.

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