A 50-over pathway that is no doubt the envy of the other ICC regions began in Thailand this past week with the Asian Cricket Council's Men's Challenger Cup kicking off a busy slate of pathway events in the region in 2023.

Seven teams from the Asian region - Bahrain, Bhutan, Iran, Maldives, Myanmar, Saudi Arabia and Thailand were joined by Indonesia from the East-Asia Pacific region. Indonesia have previously sought to switch to the ICC's Asian region - they share land borders with ACC members Brunei and Malaysia - but this is not thought to be a permanent arrangement and they remain in the EAP region for the time being.

The eight teams were dividied into two four-team round-robin groups. Bahrain topped Group A with Bhutan the runners-up on net run rate ahead of Iran and the Maldives. The Saudis won all their games in Group B whilst hosts Thailand also reached the semi-finals.

The semi-finals took place on Friday with Bahrain beating the home team by 78 runs and Saudi Arabia beating Bhutan by nine wickets in the other semi.

Today's final proved to be something of an anti-climax with Bahrain being bowled out for 26 and Saudia Arabia chasing their target in 4.1 overs to win by ten wickets, but the job of qualifying for the Premier Cup next month had been secured by both teams.

In that tournament, set to be played in Nepal, the two finalists of this event will join the hosts in addition to Hong Kong, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Singapore and the UAE. The winners of that event will play the region's five full members in the Asia Cup in Sri Lanka in September, whilst the top three will play the A-teams of the five full members in July at a venue yet to be announced.