World Twenty20 2014 October 27, 2013

Hosts Bangladesh effectively have to qualify for World T20

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Bangladesh will have to play the opening round of next year's World Twenty20, which is effectively a qualifying round for the Super 10 stage of the tournament. In the opening round, they will be grouped with three other Associate and Affiliate nations, who are yet to be determined - they will come through the qualifying tournament that will be played in the UAE starting mid-November.

As per the new format, by which the tournament is expanded to 16 teams, Zimbabwe, too, will have battle three non-Test playing nations to qualify. The top-eight sides on the ICC's T20 rankings as on October 8, 2012, have been given direct entry into the Super 10 stage.

Bangladesh open the tournament in Mirpur on March 16, against one of the Associate or Affiliate qualifiers. They also play two other first-round matches, in Chittagong, on March 18 and 20.

Some of the Bangladesh players have voiced their displeasure at the format, but on the occasion of the announcing of the schedule in Dhaka, captain Mushfiqur Rahim said his team will give it their "best shot" to be in the second round. "It [the format] is not really disappointing. We have to play the tournament. The rules and regulations can't be in our hands," Mushfiqur said. "We have to play very well because there will [be] some good teams. It is a new challenge, but if you're a cricketer you have to accept those challenges and get over it."

Bangladesh haven't progressed to the second round of the World T20 since the inaugural tournament in 2007, when they beat West Indies in their opening game and subsequently made it to the Super Eights. Mushfiqur is hoping it happens this time: "The boys are really keen to do it. We will give our best shot to get to the second round. We will have team goals. It is very important for us to get through the first round. In the Twenty20 format, no team is big.

"On the particular day, if you play better, you can beat any team. We are focusing on the first stage as of now. We haven't done it [qualified to the second round] in the last few times but these are our conditions. Support will be strong for us."

Campbell Jamieson, ICC general manager - commercial, who was present at the announcement, said that it was a cricketing decision, rather than a commercial one, to put Bangladesh in the first round. The ICC would love to see them go far in the tournament, like previous hosts in recent global events, he said. "It was purely a cricketing decision. The schedule put forward is based on rankings at the end of the 2012 World Twenty20.

"With any sporting event in the world, it is great for the event if the host nation goes all the way to the final. The ICC has been fortunate in recent times with both India [World Cup 2011] and Sri Lanka [World T20 2012), where both host nations made it to the final. In the Champions Trophy this year, England made it to the final. It is up to the Bangladesh team to make it through to the final. It is in their hands. I am sure that if they perform on the day, they have the ability to do what the others have done before them."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • BARFI on October 31, 2013, 4:22 GMT

    @ Syeda Tasmia Tahia: Statistically means? What Stat are you talking about? Writing Stat and then saying its good for BD or Zim does not mean anything. Statistics shows a trend and this format is new and there is nothing stat is there except for win and lose and number of games played. BD and Zim does not play that much. So, I don't understand what statistically means.

  • dummy4fb on October 29, 2013, 21:12 GMT

    Funnily enough, statistically, it is the best format for BD: BD had a brief spell of being no 4 in the T20I rankings! :D that being said, if BD expect to lay a claim on any big ICC cups, then this is their best shot, mainly because logically, this format supports Bangladesh's heady shot-playing, and the home-ground advantage also helps, but also, from a team perspective, this is the best team BD has had in history (and we excuse Ashraful from the best equation as for all too well known reasons). Also, Mushi is a very potent and ambitious captain, and if the whole unit can play upto their potential and keep believing themselves as the fans do (great things happen when BD boys believe in themselves;think about how tamim powered us made everyone forget the 194* by Charles Coventry and how BD won in the Asia Cup match against India, despite Sir Sachin's 100th 100).

    Great things will happen if the boys manage to get far in this tournament, as that could start the next era of BD cricket.

  • dummy4fb on October 29, 2013, 17:16 GMT

    This is a great achievement for international cricket which will allow 96 international teams greater chance of qualifying for the Super Tens. However the qualification for T20I rankings should be based on the previous (two year old) T20I World Cup and not meaningless rankings. Similar at 2014 T20I World Cup, any team that gets into the top four places in their group should qualify for the 2016 T20I World Cup and not be required to go through the current qualification process. A team that is makes it to the final eight teams should get auto-qualification regardless where they first started in the rankings. This would give incentives for teams to compete for 3rd and 4th spots in the group. Additionally, they could look at reducing the auto-qualification for 2016 to six teams for second round and increase auto-qualification for first round to six teams, with four qualifiers. This means if a team finishes second in their first round group in 2014 they will qualify for round one in 2016.

  • Khaum09 on October 29, 2013, 15:48 GMT

    I think this is a good format. Meaningless fixtures will be cut and it will be great TV viewing. It's kind of two tournaments in one. In first half we will be able to see some cracking T20 matches between lesser powerful sides. I have not followed Bangladeshi cricket much but i think they have good chance of qualifying and actually gives great warm up for their team. They have some great hitters and actually good spin bowling options which will suit them in their conditions and we all know how passionate their supporters are. So Bangladeshi fans why whine, cherish this opportunity to showcase your country and ppl. Don't be desperate for respect; it will come with time and good performances. But truth is, Bangladesh has long way to go yet to even compete with big boys. one or two good performances doesn't earn respect. Best of luck to Bangladesh, have a cracker of tournament and win it.

  • reyme on October 29, 2013, 7:00 GMT

    @ legaleagle: your team just lost by an inning and got bowled out under 100. We think ICC should replace your team with AFG and IRE. I wonder which team is world famous for spot fixing and ball tempering thus taking the popularity of cricket down to the lowest level of sports..and destroying cricket at the same time. Shame.

  • reyme on October 29, 2013, 6:55 GMT

    There we go again! Another BD news three and here comes known BD bashers. These are known common BD haters. They disappear when they see BD success such as when BD wins series against WI or draws series in Srilanka, almost wins Asia Cup after beating IND, SL. They won't anything when BD becomes terrible umpiring victims. They have no idea how BD lost a well deserved Test at Multan against PAK due to ball tempering and highly biased umpiring. But yes, if somehow BD scores below 300 in any inning, or lose an ODI, they will scream their hearts out about BD test status. Winning some games against lowly associates does not make IRE or AFG better than BD. There's 2 teams never won any series against BD, ever. BD actually beat AFG in T20 in Asian Olympics. It is the haters job to criticize BD no matter how good they perform. We just need to ignore these ignorant and narrow minded haters.

  • BARFI on October 29, 2013, 5:42 GMT

    ICC should be ashamed of what they are doing as a governing body of Cricket. No wonder why baseball is popular in Japan. USA and Canada because it does not have so called TEST match. The idea of TEST match is flawed. Hey Monarchy is long gone! Grow up buddy! It's not a game of Kings anymore cause peasants like BD and ZIM are playing. That's how ICC view lower ranked nations. Associate team development. IRELAND deserves to be there but why they are not yet selected yet . Ask ICC.

  • BARFI on October 29, 2013, 5:35 GMT

    @Mahbubur Rahman Khan: Where are you from Buddy? From Bangladesh or Zim. Looking at your facebook page looks like BD. ICC did not put BD there. Yes you are right but do you realize why all of a sudden a ranking system was developed. It was developed only to discriminate full status test playing nation who are at the bottom. Do you think Afghan and IRE just by playing lots of qualifying match and winning with team like Nepal, Canada, etc. should be on top of either ZIM or BD? This is a flawed system. There is no way you should be mixing Associate ranking with Test Playing Nations Ranking. If you think that's legit then whole IDEA of Test Playing nation is at stake. I personally don't mind it. But do you think Australia has time to play those nation in their busy schedule. Again the whole game of cricket is in trouble only because ENG and AUS and other top nations (ICC) did not want that many teams to begin with. Have some respect about BD and ZIM. They deserve to be there!

  • Kazi_Rajib on October 29, 2013, 3:45 GMT

    @Legaleagle: Sorry to say, you have no idea about Bangladesh cricket lovers. They are passionate about cricket. Only that's why Bangladesh was successful to host knockout tournament (mini WC) in 1998 where Bangladesh was not participated. So Bangladesh is part those who are makes cricket most popular. Empty crowd cricket at Bangladesh? No way! I invite you, please come at Bangladesh & watch how much we love cricket.

  • dummy4fb on October 29, 2013, 2:50 GMT

    Why automatically chosen the number top 8. As because 7 & 8 no are Aus & NZ.

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