Saturday, July 13, 2024

T20 World Cup 2026 – USA book their spot – India and Sri Lanka are the co-hosts

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Teams still chasing spots in the Super Eight stage of the T20 World Cup 2024 have extra motivation to get the job done: a spot in the top eight guarantees direct qualification for the next T20 World Cup, in 2026.

The next edition will also have 20 teams like this one, with 12 automatic qualifiers: the two co-hosts – India (who have made the Super Eight) and Sri Lanka (who have not) – as well as the other teams in the Super Eight in 2024 (that’s seven, excluding India), and the three highest-ranked teams outside of these on the ICC’s T20I rankings as of June 30, 2024. That’s 12. The remaining eight spots will be decided through the ICC’s regional qualifiers pathway.

That means, USA – who took a vital point from their washout against Ireland in Lauderhill – have booked a spot in their second successive T20 World Cup.* Scotland, should they get past Australia – even one point would do, but the weather forecast is clear – in Gros Islet, are still very much in the running. Afghanistan, too, have confirmed their spot for 2026, while Netherlands are in a race with Bangladesh for the same, albeit with Bangladesh firm favourites.

However, this does not spell doom for some Full Members who have already been knocked out of contention this year. Sri Lanka automatically qualify as co-hosts, while England – should they lose out to Scotland – will still make the cut based on the ICC rankings. The same goes for Pakistan and New Zealand. Currently, England, New Zealand and Pakistan are ranked Nos. 4, 6 and 7 respectively, well clear of the other teams who might need to rely on the rankings. Depending on how other results go, Ireland, at No. 11, could also get through via the rankings.

*This article was updated after USA qualified for the Super Eight.

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