England learn World Cup opponents

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England will face New Zealand and Kenya at the 2007 World Cup after the International Cricket Council confirmed the seeding details for the tournament in the Caribbean.

Michael Vaughan’s side, who will play their group games in St Lucia, are seeded seventh and will also meet one qualifier from the ICC Trophy in Group Three.

The 2007 World Cup will involve a record 16 teams that will initially be split into four groups of four, contesting a round robin group stage, with the top two teams from each group progressing to the Super Eights stage.

In the Super Eights, each team will play against every other team it has not already played. The result of the game between the two leading teams in the group stage will be carried forward. The top four teams at the end of the Super Eights will qualify for the semi-finals.

The precise dates for the staging of the tournament have not yet been finalised or announced.

ICC chief executive Malcolm Speed admitted that announcement of the seedings raised the prospect of some thrilling encounters in the early stages of the tournament.

He said: “Confirmation of the seedings means we can already look forward to a number of mouth-watering clashes in the group stage.

Stephen Fleming

England will face Stephen Fleming's New Zealand side

“Host team West Indies against Pakistan looks to be a key game in Group Four, while the presence of India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in Group Two, allied to the Asian cultural influence in Trinidad and Tobago, will make for a wonderful atmosphere and some compelling cricket.”

Australia, England, India and West Indies were pre-seeded into separate groups in July 2004 to ensure that transport, accommodation and other logistical issues in the West Indies could be effectively managed.

Holders Australia will be based in St Kitts and Nevis, India's group will be hosted by Trinidad and Tobago and host nation West Indies will begin its campaign in Jamaica.

Subject to this pre-seeding, the 11 teams with One-Day International status have been seeded in the four ICC Cricket World Cup groups according to their official position in the LG ICC ODI Championship table on 1 April 2005.

Group One (St Kitts & Nevis)
Australia (1)
South Africa (5)
ICC Trophy (1)
ICC Trophy (5)

Group Two (Trinidad & Tobago)
Sri Lanka (2)
India (8)
Bangladesh (11)
ICC Trophy (4)

Group Three (St Lucia)
New Zealand (3)
England (7)
Kenya (10)
ICC Trophy (3)

Group Four (Jamaica)
Pakistan (4)
West Indies (6)
Zimbabwe (9)
ICC Trophy (2)

The figures in brackets after the 11 teams with ODI status denotes its position in the LG ICC ODI Championship at April 1 2005. The seedings for the remaining five teams will be determined by their qualifying performances in the ICC Trophy Ireland 2005.

Tournament dates and a full fixture schedule for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 will be announced shortly after the completion of the ICC Trophy in mid-July.

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