ICC Men’s T20 World Cup qualifier: Scotland, Netherlands and Ireland begin campaign on opening day

Scotland will take on Singapore while the Netherlands will face Kenya on the opening day of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup qualifier to be held in the United Arab Emirates in October.

Scotland, the top-ranked side in the 14-team tournament, and the Netherlands were the joint winners of the previous qualifying event in 2015.

Ireland square off against Hong Kong and Oman will play hosts UAE at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi in other matches on the opening day.

Bermuda, Canada, Jersey, Namibia, Nigeria and Papua New Guinea are the other teams participating in the event as they fight for the six available places at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia from 18 October to 15 November.

The teams have been divided in two groups.

Scotland, the Netherlands, PNG, Namibia, Singapore, Kenya and Bermuda forming Group A and the UAE, Ireland, Oman, Hong Kong, Canada, Jersey and Nigeria in Group B.

The top team from each group will advance to the semi-final of the tournament whilst securing direct qualification to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020, with three more teams from each group featuring in qualification play-offs to determine the other four qualifiers.

The knockout stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier will be played primarily at the Dubai International Stadium with the play-offs scheduled for 29 and 30 October. The semi-finals will be held on 1 November while the third-place match and the final are scheduled for Saturday, 2 November.

The six qualifying teams will then join the top 10 teams in the ICC Men’s T20I Rankings as on 31 December 2018, in Australia in 2020 – Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies.

“This tournament is the final stage of the qualification pathway to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia which started in February 2018 and included 61 teams across the five ICC regions,” ICC Head of Events Chris Tetley said in a press release on Tuesday.

He added, “We are delighted to be working with the Emirates Cricket Board and in the UAE again, since they last played host to the ICC U19 CWC 2014, at world-class facilities in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai. On behalf of the ICC, I wish all participating teams the very best and look forward to seeing some compelling and competitive cricket that showcases the quality of the game worldwide.”