Almost a year later than expected, the men’s T20 World Cup is due to kick off this evening.
The tournament, initially meant to be held in India, was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic but, 364 days later, it will get started in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
Qualifying for the final four spots in the main draw begins today, with Oman, Papua New Guinea, Ireland and Scotland among those in contention.
The ‘Super 12’ group stages then begin on Saturday, the 23rd of October, with Australia opening the tournament against South Africa.
Crowds at the stadiums in the UAE and Oman will be capped at 70%.
The final, which will be held at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, takes place on 14 November.
The top nine teams in the ICC rankings were assured of a spot in the tournament, while eight teams will face off in a qualifying competition to reach the group stages.
Sri Lanka, Ireland, Namibia, the Netherlands, Bangladesh, Oman, Scotland and Papua New Guinea will compete for the final four spots when qualifying gets under way this evening.
The West Indies are the defending T20 Champions and will once again be one of the front runners to clinch the title.
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh qualified directly for the T20 World Cup after being in the top 10 of the T20I rankings at the cut-off point in December 2018 but as they were outside the top eight at that point – Bangladesh ninth and Sri Lanka 10th – they were entered into round one as opposed to automatically moving into the Super 12.
Sri Lanka’s first qualifying group game gets underway tomorrow against Namibia.
They won both warm-up games against Bangladesh and Papua New Guinea and will be brimming with confidence going into the group stages.
The match of the T20 World Cup between Oman and Papua New Guinea will kick start at 3:30pm Sri Lanka time.