The Zimbabwe national cricket team will have to play in a 14-team qualifier to book their place in the International Cricket Council (ICC) 2020 T20 World Cup to be played in Australia next year.
BY SPORTS REPORTER
Zimbabwe missed on the opportunity to qualify directly to the group stages of the global tournament after finishing outside the top 10 on the ICC Men’s Twenty20 International Team Rankings before the December 31 cut-off date.
The country is currently ranked 12th, and will need to finish in the top two in the 14-team T20 Global Qualifier, to be played in October or November 2019, to be one of the nations to fill the four remaining places in the group stage.
The T20 World Cup itself will be played in October and November 2020 at eight venues across Australia.
As per the qualification criteria set for the tournament, Australia and the other nine top-ranked sides have ensured direct qualification.
The top eight make it straight to the Super 12s stage, while the remaining two will play in the group stage along with six other teams who will make it through from the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier in 2019. Four teams from the group stage will advance to the Super 12s.
Full members also missing out on a direct spot in the tournament are 2014 champions and three-time finalists Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, who will have to contend with the other six qualifiers in the group stage of the tournament, which will be held from October 18 to November 15, 2020.
In addition, four associates have been fast-tracked into the T20 Global Qualifier by virtue of their participation in the opening round of the 2016 T20 World Cup: Scotland, Netherlands, Hong Kong and Oman. They will be joined by eight other associates who will advance from five regional qualification finals (Africa, Americas, Asia, East Asia-Pacific, Europe) to take place in the first half of 2019.
Of the top 10 sides on the rankings table, top-ranked Pakistan, India, England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, the Windies and Afghanistan will start their campaign directly in the Super 12s.
ICC Men’s T20 World Cup
Super 12s (12 teams) — Australia (hosts), Pakistan, India, England, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies, Afghanistan, plus four teams from Group Stage.
Group Stage (six teams — four qualify for Super 12s) — Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, plus four teams from ICC Global Qualifier.
ICC Global Qualifier (14 teams — four qualify for Group Stage) – Ireland, Zimbabwe, Scotland, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Oman plus eight associate members from regional qualifying in 2019 (Africa, Americas, Asia, East Asia-Pacific, Europe).