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Sixteen teams to contest 2012 World T20 qualifiers

Cricinfo staff

June 10, 2010

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The victorious Afghanistan team strikes a happy pose, United Arab Emirates v Afghanistan, ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier, Super Four, Dubai, February 13, 2010
Afghanistan emerged victorious in the 2010 World Twenty20 qualifiers that featured eight teams © Associated Press
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The ICC development committee has expanded the global qualification system for the World Twenty20, to give the Associate and Affiliate members of the governing body a chance to feature in the tournament. The qualification tournament, which was contested by eight teams in February 2010, is set to feature 16 sides when it is held in early 2012 ahead of the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka, later that year.

The expanded field will comprise ten qualifiers from regional Twenty20 tournaments in addition to six countries that currently enjoy ODI/Twenty20 status. The exact details of the regional qualification network are yet to be announced.

The committee has also pledged $2 million towards development of major cricket facilities in leading and targeted associates and affiliates, in partnership with members and third-parties. The members eligible to apply will include each of the top six-ranked Associates/Affiliates, China, USA and a Member nominated by each of the Africa, East Asia-Pacific and Europe regions together with any Associate or Affiliate scheduled to host certain ICC events.

"These are two extremely exciting, strategic and encouraging developments for the future of our great sport," ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said after the meeting in Jakarta. "They represent a clear sign of our ongoing commitment to growing the game beyond its traditional boundaries and ensuring that each of our members has the opportunity to develop and become the best they can be.

"Cricket has never been stronger. We now have three viable formats of the game at international level - something no other sport can boast - and cricket continues to grow in popularity in almost every corner of the globe. These initiatives are steps along the path towards continued sustainable growth," Lorgat said.

While in Jakarta, the development committee received a presentation from Cricket Indonesia and attended the national Under-17 championships. In addition, Lorgat met with representatives from the Indonesian government and the national Olympic committee.

"Indonesia is an outstanding example of an Affiliate Member on an upward move. It is the fastest growing member in terms of participation numbers and I believe this is due to excellent staff, volunteers, strategies, plans and partnerships that are in place," Lorgat said.

The number of ICC members, currently 104, may continue to grow as Seychelles' application for Affiliate Membership was forwarded to the ICC Annual Conference 2010 for consideration. The committee has allocated the staging of three World Cricket League events to Hong Kong/China (Division 3 in January 2011), the United Arab Emirates (Division 2 in April 2011) and Botswana (Division 7 in March/April 2011).

The qualifier for the women's World Cup,which will determine the four teams to join England, New Zealand, Australia and India at the 2013 World Cup in India, will be staged in Bangladesh in November 2011. West Indies, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Japan will compete in the tournament, in addition to one qualifying team from the Americas and two teams each from Africa and Europe. This event will double as the women's qualifying tournament for the ICC World Twenty20 to be staged in Sri Lanka in 2012. The allocations are all subject to the finalisation of logistical and budgetary arrangements in coming weeks and months.

The committee confirmed the groupings for the eight-team WCL Division Eight event from November 6 to 12, 2010, in Kuwait.

Group A: Bhutan, Kuwait, Suriname and Vanuatu.

Group B: Bahamas, Gibraltar, Zambia and the next highest European qualifier (to come from the regional division two event, which runs from July 13 to 19 2010).

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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