Sri Lanka and Bangladesh fail to secure direct berths for 2020 T20 World Cup Super 12s
What's the story?
The International Cricket Council (ICC) have announced the eight teams that have secured direct berths for the Super 12s of the 2020 T20 World Cup to be held in Australia.
With only the top eight teams in the current ICC T20I rankings gaining automatic slots for the Super 12 stage, 2014 champions Sri Lanka and rising Asian side Bangladesh have missed out on direct berths.
Along with six other teams from the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier, both Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will have to fight it out in the Group stage before getting the chance to rub shoulders with the top eight outfits during the 2020 tournament.
In the 2016 edition of the T20 World Cup, the top eight teams had progressed directly to the Super 10s. Among the eight sides which contested in the group stage, Bangladesh and Afghanistan qualified for the Super 10s.
For the 2020 edition of the T20 World Cup, the Super 10s has been replaced by the Super 12s. Aside from eight automatic entrants, the top four teams out of the eight-side group phase will contest in the Super 12s which is expected to feature two pools of six teams.
The automatic eight berths for the Super 12s as well as the two direct slots for the group stage have been decided on the basis of the ICC T20I Rankings as of 31st December 2018.
The heart of the matter
Apart from hosts Australia (currently ranked fourth), top-ranked Pakistan, India, England, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies and Afghanistan have earned direct berths to the Super 12s of the 2020 T20 World Cup.
Sri Lanka, who had won the tournament in 2014, will contest in the group stage of the 2020 edition. Ranked nine, they are five points behind eight-placed Afghanistan. Bangladesh, ranked ten in T20Is, will also compete in the group stage.
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will be joined by six teams who qualify from the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier in 2019. Only four sides from the group stage make it to the Super 12s.
Sri Lanka's T20I skipper Lasith Malinga affirmed, "It is a bit disappointing that we have not been able to ensure a direct Super 12s berth but I’m confident that we will do well in the tournament. Having played three finals and winning once, it is natural that everyone expected us to finish in the top-eight but we have to take the opportunity in the extra matches of the group stage and prepare well for the knock-out matches."
Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan insisted, "We have not secured a direct Super 12s berth but I’m confident that we will do well in the tournament by going through the group stage. We are a side capable of beating the best on our day and I see no reason why we can’t go far in the tournament. There is still some time and we will use it to be at our best for the T20 World Cup."
The ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier is expected to take place in October 2019. The tournament proper will begin on 18th October 2020 and will run until the final on November 15. Eight prominent venues across Australia will host the tournament.