ICC announces direct qualifiers for World T20 2020 in Australia

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DUBAI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday announced names of the teams that have qualified directly for next year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia.

According to the qualification criteria for the tournament, Australia and the other nine top-ranked sides have ensured direct qualification. The top eight teams based on the T20I team rankings as of December 31, 2018, have made it straight to the Super 12s stage. 

Pakistan, India, England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies and Afghanistan will start their campaign directly in the Super 12s of the tournament which will be held from October 18 to November 15, 2020.

However, former champions and three-time finalists Sri Lanka and Bangladesh owing to their low rankings and will now contest with the other six qualifiers in the group stage of the tournament. Four teams from the group stage will advance to the Super 12s. 

Sri Lanka captain LasithMalinga said he was disappointed that the team did not make it to the Super 12s but was confident of the team doing well in the tournament. Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan indicated that recent performances had given them belief and they would prepare well for the challenge.

“It is a bit disappointing that we have not been able to ensure a direct Super 12s berth but I’m confident that we will do well in the tournament,” Malinga said.

Malinga further said, “Having played three finals and winning once, it is natural that everyone expected us to finish in the top-eight but we have to take the opportunity in the extra matches of the group stage and prepare well for the knock-out matches.”

“We have some fine players in the ranks and it is only a matter of doing our best when the time comes. We look forward to challenges coming our way as we prepare for the big event,” he added.

Hasan said, “We have not secured a direct Super 12s berth but I’m confident that we will do well in the tournament by going through the group stage. We are a side capable of beating the best on our day and I see no reason why we can’t go far in the tournament. There is still some time and we will use it to be at our best for the T20 World Cup.”

“We won a T20 series against the West Indies, the world champions, in their backward not so long ago. That performance has given us a lot of belief in our T20 capabilities,” added Hasan.