The World Cup T20 qualifiers are all set to begin in just over six weeks in the United Arab Emirates. ICC recently confirmed the final schedule and draw for the tournament which will comprise 14 teams. The qualifiers will run from October 18th to November 2nd in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
14 countries will compete in this World Cup T20 qualifiers. Hosts United Arab Emirates along with Scotland, Netherlands, Ireland, Hong Kong, and Oman were awarded byes to the qualifier because they reached the T20 World Cup in 2016. Competing with them are Jersey, Papua New Guinea, Namibia, Kenya, Canada, Singapore, and Bermuda. These sides progressed through regional qualifying.
Zimbabwe was removed from contention given their ongoing suspension from the ICC and Nigeria will take their place instead as the third African Qualifier. The top six teams from these 14 countries will qualify for the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia where they will fight against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in the first round of the tournament. The top four sides will qualify from the first round for the main phase of the tournament.
These 14 countries vying for qualification spots will be split into two groups of seven teams with the seeding being done based on their ICC ranking by the end of August 2019.
Group A, playing their games in Dubai comprises both the finalists from the previous qualifiers- the Netherlands and Scotland. Joining them are Namibia, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, and Bermuda.
Group B, based in Abu Dhabi is made up of hosts UAE and Ireland which is a full ICC member. Along with them are Oman, Hong Kong, Canada, Jersey, and Nigeria.
The format of the qualifiers is designated to be a single round-robin with the bottom 3 teams from each group getting eliminated while the group winners will proceed directly to the semi-finals securing definite qualification.
On the other hand, the second and third-placed teams in each group will vie for playoffs for the remaining qualification seats at stake. The losers from those playoffs will have to face the 4th placed sides from the groups to make up a final couple of qualifiers for the main event in Australia next year.
The matches in Abu Dhabi will be played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium while the games in Dubai will be split between the two ICC Academy Grounds and the Dubai International.
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