With the qualification matches now complete, we can now start looking forward to the next edition of the T20 World Cup which will take place between October 18 and November 15 next year.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) have already released the fixture list as well as the group format for the event. A total of 16 teams will take part in 45 matches across seven venues. Outside of hosts Australia and the top nine ranked ICC teams, Scotland, Ireland, Namibia, Netherlands, Oman and Papua New Guinea also progressed via the qualification tournament held in the United Arab Emirates in 2019.
The ICC has introduced a new format featuring two groups made up of teams outside of the top eight ranked teams. Sri Lanka will be joined by Ireland, Papua New Guinea and Oman in Group A, while Bangladesh will be joined by Scotland, Netherlands and Namibia in Group B. The top two teams from each group will progress to the Super 12 stage of the tournament where Australia, Pakistan, India, England, South Africa, New Zealand, Afghanistan and reigning champions West Indies will be waiting.
Hosts will start as favourites
The action kicks off at the Kardinia Park Stadium, South Geelong on October 18 when Sri Lanka take on Ireland. Australia will open their Super 12 campaign against Pakistan in Sydney on October 24. The West Indies will begin the defence of their title a day later against New Zealand at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. Despite being reigning champions, West Indies will start as sixth favourites this time around behind Australia, India, England, New Zealand and South Africa.
England to face qualifier in the opening match
England will face the winner of Group B in their first Super 12 match at the Perth Stadium on October 26. They will likely face Bangladesh although there is potential for a showdown with Scotland who finished one place behind the Tigers in the final rankings. The second-placed team from Group A will also feature in England’s group alongside India, South Africa and Afghanistan.
As well as Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, matches will also be hosted in Brisbane, Adelaide, Geelong and Hobart. The final will held at the 100,000 capacity Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Women’s event begins in February
Before the men’s event gets underway in October, cricket fans will be treated to more T20 World Cup action with the women’s event scheduled to begin in Australia in February. The tournament will feature 10 teams including newcomers Thailand who progressed from the qualifying tournament along with Bangladesh.
Reigning champions Australia will be favourites ahead of the last edition’s beaten finalists, England, as they defend their title on home soil. The Aussies have won four of the six T20 World Cups that have been played since the tournament was inaugurated in 2009.
All in all, 2020 looks set to be an incredible year for fans of the 20-over format.