World Twenty20 2012 February 23, 2011

Qualifying begins for World Twenty20

ESPNcricinfo staff

While Associate nations ponder a future that may not include being part of the World Cup, some of the game's least well-known nations take their first steps towards what they hope can ultimately be a place at the expanded 2012 World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

Although the 2015 World Cup is set to be trimmed to 10 teams this has been balanced to some degree by the expansion of the Twenty20 event which will increase from the 12 sides that took part in 2010 to 16 for the next tournament.

However, it is highly unlikely that the seven countries who begin the qualifying campaign on February 24 will reach the showpiece event next year. Cameroon, Gambia, Lesotho, Mali, Morocco, Rwanda and the Seychelles will play in an initial qualifier in Ghana at the end of this month.

Sixteen teams will take part in the final global qualifier in UAE in early 2012 to decide the final places at the World Twenty20. The six Associate and Affiliate members with one-day international status - Afghanistan, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, the Netherlands and Scotland - have automatically qualified for the UAE event.

Three teams from the Asia region, two teams from Africa, Americas and Europe, and one team from East Asia-Pacific will play in the global qualifying event.

In 2010 in the Caribbean the two Associate and Affiliate nations involved were Ireland and Afghanistan. Although neither progressed to the Super Eights, Ireland caused England problems in Guyana and Afghanistan performed with great credit during their first global tournament.

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  • Martin on February 25, 2011, 6:00 GMT

    I look forward to following all the qualifiers during 2011. The expansion of the T20WC to 16 teams is one of the best decisions the ICC has ever made. Congrats to them. T20 is the best vehicle for cricket's expansion. I'm not in favour of reduding the 50 over World Cup to 10 teams though. I think thats a bit too drastic. 12 teams would be better, as the associate countries do need some incentive. Some of the best moments in WC history were provided by the associates (eg. Ireland at the last WC...and Kenya before them).

  • Dummy4 on February 25, 2011, 0:15 GMT

    will be intresting to see the 16 teams who are trying to qualify. and then to see the 6 that will actually qualify. always nice to see new countrys playing cricket

  • Dummy4 on February 24, 2011, 23:58 GMT


  • RAGHURAM on February 24, 2011, 7:21 GMT

    I don't mind immigrants playing for the country where they are staying. But there should be some sort of rules. On one hand ICC allows Dirk Nannis to play both for Netherlands and Australia, there is Imran Tahir who has to follow all residency rules before playing for South Africa. I feel there should be some sort of cooling period, say 3-4 years gap before one can start playing for another country. This rule should be applicable for all countries, full members or Associates or Affiliates....

  • Dru on February 24, 2011, 5:31 GMT

    the ICC should organise an "A" team tour program where all the test countries "A" teams also play a home and away series like the actual test teams. The associate teams should qualify to be part of the "A" team tours program which will ensure all aspects of the game are developed. The WC is not the place to develop the game, sure allow two associate teams at the WC but defeinitely not more than that.

  • Rakesh on February 24, 2011, 4:49 GMT

    It is logical to reduce 2015 wc to 2 Associates so that the best 2 of the associates can be in and it will be a motivation for other teams to try for a spot. But having no associates at all informs that no other should even bother to think about playing WC 2015. This is absurd. Reduce the numbers .It is the mistake of ICC to include too many associates. This does not mean that there should be none. Than upcoming teams have absolutely no hope for bigger things or for progression as the door is closed. Big players in the game should show their concern if ICC comittee is not coming to proper decisions.

  • Ather on February 24, 2011, 4:15 GMT

    I am so glad and happy about this new idea of having a 16 team worldcup that too in twenty20. This is like a dream come true becasue as we all know the chances of an upset are far more greater in 20 overs version than in 50 overs version so im really happy about the next 2015 worldcup invloving ten teams and this 2012 twenty20 world cup haeving sixteen teams cant wait for this awesome and truly global event to start next summer in 2012 !!!!! looking forward to it. Finally the ICC has mafe a good decision !!!!

  • Dummy4 on February 23, 2011, 20:28 GMT

    The decison to expand the Twenty20 World tournament will mean the expansion of the shortest version of the game at the expense of the 50 over version. The ICC Associate nations won't bother with the 50 over game now because they can't qualify for the 2015 competition and the money men will point to the larger crowds for a shorter game and the rest, as they say, will be history.

  • Srinivas on February 23, 2011, 18:49 GMT

    How many T20 world cups do we need anyway? Every two years...oh come on. Enough with this over kill.

  • Dummy4 on February 23, 2011, 17:01 GMT

    I don't think Afghanistan are ready yet to compete at the 50-over level. I really do like the idea of encouraging Associates to focus more on Twenty20 for now. Once they can show they can bat out 20 overs, that will be a good measure of preparing them for 50-over cricket. Hell, it's probably the only measure. I really don't like the idea of Associates being left out of the 2015 World Cup, but after Kenya's two performances so far, you've got to wonder if the ICC have a point. With sixteen teams in the 2012 World Twenty20, it's going to feel like cricket's first truly global event, and with the way Twenty20 levels the playing field, there might be some real competitiveness on offer.

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