UAE and Namibia have been selected to join the top six Associate and Affiliate nations in the next edition of the Intercontinental Cup. They were picked based on their performances in World Cricket League Division Two, where they finished in the top four, and take the first-class tournament back to its previous structure of eight teams.
Afghanistan, the defending champions, Ireland, Scotland, Kenya, Canada and Netherlands are the top six sides involved in the event which will run over a 28-month time frame from June 2011 until October 2013. Afghanistan begin the defence of their title with an away fixture against Canada.
The expanded Intercontinental Cup means an end to the Shield tournament which was introduced last season to try and provide a pathway for other emerging teams. However, the development committee decided the best structure was to expand the main tournament. The committee also announced the introduction of a 50-over tournament to run alongside the Intercontinental Cup.
The winners of the four-day tournament will receive $100,000 with $40,000 for second place from a total prize fund of $254,000. Ireland are the most successful side in the tournament's history having secured a hat-trick of titles from 2005 to 2007-08.