The ICC on Wednesday announced the schedule of World Twenty20 Qualifier to be held at United Arab Emirates (UAE) from November 15 to 30. The 15-day tournament, which will see 16 teams battle it out for six available slots in the ICC World Twenty20 tournament scheduled to be held in Bangladesh in March next year, will be played at seven venues.
The venues are respectively, Dubai International Cricket Stadium and ICC Academy grounds No.1 and No.2 in Dubai, Zayed Cricket Stadium and Abu Dhabi Ovals 1 and 2 in Abu Dhabi and the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The 16 teams have been divided into two groups with last year’s winner, Ireland, in Group A alongside Canada, Hong Kong, Italy, Namibia, Uganda, USA and the host United Arab Emirates, while Group B comprises of Afghanistan, Bermuda, Denmark, Netherlands, Nepal, Kenya, Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Scotland.
ICC’s Global Development Manager, Tim Anderson, said: “The time has come once again for important and prestigious event on the ICC calendar in which 16 leading members amongst the Associates and Affiliates will vie for the six available places in the ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014. “This final qualifier is the last step of a pathway that comprised 11 ICC regional tournaments during 2012 and 2013, this time we will see six teams gain the opportunity to be a part of the global tournament to be held next year.”
This is the third time that the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier is being held in the UAE. The tournament was last hosted in the country in 2012 and saw Afghanistan and Ireland claiming the qualifying positions. The Chief Executive of the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB), David East, said: “We are happy and excited to host the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2013 for the third successive year.
“This qualifying event for World Twenty20 will take place ahead of the ICC Under-19 World Cup 2014, an event billed as the finishing school for future stars. The allocation of these two important events is an illustration of the faith and confidence the ICC has on the ECB in producing quality events. “The ECB will ensure that it lives up to its standards and will try it make the events memorable for the players, officials, spectators, media and the sponsors.”