India make direct qualification to T20 WC


DUBAI: Indian cricket team on Tuesday made direct qualification to the upcoming International Cricket Council (ICC) men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2020 which will be held in Australia. The confirmation was made by the ICC after taking into consideration the men’s T20I team ranking. As per the qualification criteria set for the tournament, the host nation and the other nine top-ranked sides have ensured direct qualification.

The top eight make it straight to the Super 12s stage while the remaining two will play in the group stage along with six other teams who will make it through from the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier in 2019. Four teams from the group stage will advance to the Super 12s.

India, along with Pakistan, England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies and Afghanistan, will start their campaign directly in the Super 12s.

Former champions and three-time finalists Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, who are holding the ninth and tenth position, respectively in the ranking table, will have to contend with the other six qualifiers in the group stage of the tournament, which will be held from October 18 to November 15, 2020.

Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga was disappointed at the development but was confident of the team doing well in the tournament.

 “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,” ICC quoted Malinga, as saying.

 “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,” he added.

Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan, while talking about the same, indicated that recent performances had given them belief and they would prepare well for the challenge.

 “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,” Shakib said. “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 Twenty20 capabilities,” he added. (ANI)