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The United Arab Emirates will host the ICC World Twenty20 2010 Qualifier later this year. The event, which is currently scheduled to take place in late October, will also be expanded from its previous staging, in Ireland in 2008.
In addition to featuring the six Associate and Affiliate teams with ODI status - Ireland, Canada, Kenya, the Netherlands, Afghanistan and Scotland - it will also include the host team and the United States of America (USA).
The top two sides from the tournament will go forward to join the 10 ICC Full Members in next year's main event, set to take place in the West Indies in April and May at three locations - Barbados, Guyana and St Lucia.
These decisions were made by the ICC Development Committee, which has been meeting this week in Dubai.
"I am thrilled that the ICC Development Committee has again taken an expansive and innovative approach to promoting our great sport by inviting the UAE and USA to join the top six Associate and Affiliate teams at the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier later this year," said ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat. "The committee has given the chance for the top six Associate and Affiliate teams to qualify for the ICC World Twenty20, something they had the chance to do in the equivalent event in Ireland last year, while, at the same time, creating two additional invitational slots for this event."
Martin Williamson is executive editor of ESPNcricinfo and managing editor of ESPN Digital Media in Europe, the Middle East and AfricaFeeds: Martin Williamson
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Executive editor Martin Williamson joined the Wisden website in its planning stages in 2001 after failing to make his millions in the internet boom when managing editor of Sportal. Before that he was in charge of Sky Sports Online and helped launch and run Sky News Online. With a preference for all things old (except his wife and children), he has recently confounded colleagues by displaying an uncharacteristic fondness for Twenty20 cricket. His enthusiasm for the game is sadly not matched by his ability, but he remains convinced that he might be a late developer and perseveres in the hope of an England call-up with his middle-order batting and non-spinning offbreaks. He is now managing editor of ESPN EMEA Digital Group as well as his Cricinfo responsibilities.