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Qualifiers step up World Cup preparations

The ICC has announced the four qualifying teams for the 2015 Cricket World Cup will travel to Australia and New Zealand later this year to prepare for the 50-over showpiece.

The tours form part of the ICC’s High Performance Programme and give Afghanistan, Ireland, Scotland and United Arab Emirates the opportunity to get used to the conditions they can expect in the tournament, which will run from February 14 to March 29. 

As well as playing against state and provincial sides in Australia and New Zealand, the teams will have access to a number of specialist coaches and former players.

The emerging nations will be out to show they deserve a permanent place among the big boys at next year's World Cup

The UAE and Afghanistan will arrive in Perth on September 7 and 14 respectively, while Scotland touch down in Hobart 10 days later and Ireland are scheduled to begin their tour in Queensland on September 23.

ICC chief executive David Richardson said: "All sides have a strong schedule of matches against high-level opposition, and we are grateful to Cricket Australia, New Zealand Cricket and their state and provincial associations for supporting the programme so fully."

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