When the final Sub-Regional Qualifier being played in Buenos Aires, the ICC has released a wide outline of worldwide qualifying structure recently, for the ICC World Cup T20 to be held in 2020 in Australia.
Currently being played by Bermuda, Argentina and the Cayman Islands, the Americas WT20 (Group-B) Sub Regional Qualifier is the first of 12 qualifiers that are scheduled to be played in run-up to the tournament, which are going to witness 61 nations to compete and reach one of the five finals, making it one of the most comprehensive pathways that are yet to be seen for ICC Event.
Along with the existing event in Buenos Aires, a second sub-regional Americas event is yet to be held later this year in Los Angeles. Kuwait will be hosting the first of two Asian sub-regional six-team events in April, while the Fiji and Philippines have been selected as the host of two 4-team East Asia Pacific sub-qualifiers. For the African and European Sub-regional events, the venues haven’t been confirmed yet. But it is clear that both regions will be hosting three tournaments later this year and 33 nations will take part on it.
Out of these sub-regional matches, 25 teams will progress in total to finals, i.e. one for each of the five regions in ICC, to be held in 2019. There is still unclear of how many teams will progress from each match.
Out of these finals, seven teams will progress in total to the Global Qualifier, where they will face six teams which qualified for WT20 in 2016 but fall out of the top ten of T20i rankings at the end of the year, i.e. Zimbabwe, Scotland, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Oman on existing standings, with another berth booked for the hosts which are yet to be announced. At the 14-team tournament, six qualifying spots will be there to be won, with top teams progressing to WT20’s First Round.
With 2 Full Members and 65 Associates are taking part in total, the announcement signs one of the most comprehensive structures of qualification which are seen for ICC event yet. According to Will Greenwright, ICC Development manager, more teams would come. He said, “ICC is committed to deliver more opportunities for competition as part of our investment in cricket’s growth. It is only one of several improvements to our competition structures and we are working on for Associate Members and announce this year.”
He further said, “T20 is the driving force behind the huge growth of international cricket. With the help of this simplified structure, 65 Associate Members can qualify for 16-team World T20, after meeting all the qualification criteria.”