T20 WC Qualifier Of The Set Removed For 2021 > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - T20 WC Qualifier set to be axed for 2021

The 2021 edition could see a change in the qualification process

The ongoing T20 WC Global Qualifier will likely be the last edition of the event, with qualifiers for the 2021 World Cup instead coming directly from regional finals. With the 2021 event in India, which replaced the Champions Trophy, coming hard on the heels of the 2020 edition, it appears the schedule squeeze has prompted the ICC to do away with the showpiece Associate tournament, which has been a fixture on the calendar since the first edition in 2008.

Under the current qualification system, some 60 countries first contested 12 sub-regional tournaments, the first of which was held in Buenos Aires in February of last year, with the top teams progressing to five regional finals, from which seven teams went through to the global tournament to join hosts UAE together with the four qualifiers from the previous WT20 in 2016, with Nigeria coming in as replacements for the suspended Zimbabwe. Six sides won through to claim their berths at the 2020 World Cup over the last week, with Ireland and Papua New Guinea winning their respective groups, the Netherlands and Namibia the qualifying quarter finals, and Scotland and Oman claiming the final spots in the eliminator playoffs yesterday.

Under the proposed qualification system for 2021, those six sides will have a chance to secure their berths at the 2021 World Cup by winning through to the Super 12s stage at the 2020 edition. The six teams will join Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in a preliminary qualifying round split across two groups, with the top two from each joining the top eight teams in the Super 12s and guaranteeing qualification for 2021, with the remaining four dropping back to regional qualification. In effect, the system also guarantees the eight full member sides already in the Super 12s exemption from any form of qualifcation for 2021, with only four qualification spots on offer for 2021.

Without a global qualification tournament, these four spots will be allocated across the ICC's five regions; Asia, Europe, Africa, Americas and East Asia Pacific. With the latter two regions traditionally the weakest, it is likely that the Americas and EAP finals will be combined to determine one qualifier, with each of the remaining regions awarded one slot.

The eight teams that failed to make the cut at this current event will drop back to regional qualifying, though it is not yet clear whether they will be granted byes to their respective regional finals or whether they will drop another rung down to sub-regionals. The first of 12 sub-regionals tournaments are slated to begin early next year - Finland, Belgium and Spain having been awarded the three European tournaments, whilst Canada and Uganda are also understood to be in line to host. The winners of these subregionals will then join teams dropping back from the "first round" qualification groups at the 2020 World Cup at their respective regional finals to fight for one of the four berths at 2021.

The system would naturally disadvantage those sides from the stronger regions, with European countries potentially having to best Scotland, the Netherlands and Ireland to claim the single European berth, whilst the Asia final might potentially see Nepal, Oman, the UAE and Singapore, and even Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, all chasing a single spot. Conversely, the Americas region currently has no sides ranked in the top 20, potentially giving Canada or the United States a comparatively easy run, whilst should Papua New Guinea make the Super 12s stage in Australia the East Asia Pacific region's next best side is 46th-ranked Philippines.

The ICC have yet to comment.

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