The 54-match tournament will feature the 10 Test-playing nations, Kenya and three qualifiers from this summer’s ICC Trophy tournament in Canada.
The 14 teams will be split into two first round pools based on the win percentage of all one-day internationals they have played between the end of the 1999 World Cup and September 2001.
Based on current figures, England would play defending champions Australia, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe and the winners and runners-up from the ICC Trophy.
The other pool would include South Africa, Sri Lanka, India, New Zealand, Bangladesh, Kenya and the third ICC Trophy team.
“We believe the proposal we submitted is the fairest possible way of allocating teams to the two pools for the 2003 Cricket World Cup,” said the tournament’s executive director, Dr Ali Bacher.
The September cut-off date was chosen to allow the organisers to announce the full programme of matches the following month.
The opening match of the tournament has been provisionally scheduled for Cape Town on 7 February 2003, with the final taking place at the Wanderers stadium in Johannesburg on 18 March.
Durban and Port Elizabeth will host the semi-finals.
A total of 24 countries will be competing for the three World Cup places at the ICC Trophy event.
They are: Argentina, Bermuda, Canada, Denmark, East & Central Africa (Malawi, Tanzania, Zambia), Fiji, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Holland, Hong Kong, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Namibia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Uganda, USA and the West Africa Conference (Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone).