South Africa now find themselves grouped opposite two old foes and the T20 World Champions. England, Australia and the West Indies have been placed on Group 1 of the Super 12s phase with two more qualifiers set to join them from the preliminary round.
It is no formality, but if things run according to expectations the Proteas will also be joined by Sri Lanka and Scotland.
Sri Lanka have not been world-beaters in any format for some time but will be a dangerous opponent in the UAE and Oman.
South Africa recently bested the West Indies, but it was a close-run thing and their returning stars are only getting better.
Australia were poor in their series against the West Indies but they will welcome back a slew of big names at the top of the order, with Glen Maxwell and Steve Smith headlining those likely to reappear before the big show.
England are one of the best white-ball teams in the world and you feel that Eoin Morgan is out to collect a set of World Cup trophies before he calls it a day.
Even Scotland, if they manage to finish second in their preliminary group, which also includes Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and Oman. It is also possible that Bangladesh themselves might be thrust into the ‘group of death.
The teams who come through those early rounds will have the benefit of match practice and competition and could upset the established nations who will only enter at the Super 12s phase.
South Africa will have five matches to attempt to seal a place in the semi-finals, where they will want to banish their hoodoo and finally reach a major final and be crowned world champions.
Just seven matches stand between the Proteas and the dream of winning a World Cup, but they will be seven of the most challenging games of their lives and careers.