The Twenty 20 World Cup will begin on Sunday in the humble surroundings of Al Amerat, with Oman and Papua New Guinea determined not to be confined to the role of warm-up acts at the global showpiece.
The seventh edition of the event, which was originally planned to take place in Australia and then India before being chased out of both by COVID-19, kicks off with a double-header at the 3,000-seat arena outside Muscat.
Bangladesh will play Scotland later on Sunday, followed by Ireland, Namibia, the Netherlands, and 2010 champions Sri Lanka on Monday.
The first round of qualifying has eight teams competing for four spots in the Super 12 round-robin stage.
All matches will be held in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Sharjah, and will include England, Australia, South Africa, the defending champions West Indies, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, and Afghanistan. The top four will advance to the semi-finals before the final on November 14 in Dubai.
The clubs who must qualify have a lot on the line.
A spot in the next round ensures a place in the T20 World Cup in 2022.
In addition, there is a monetary incentive. Teams that fail to advance past the first round receive $40,000 (34,500 euros), with the same amount granted for each victory.
The $1.6 million winner’s check goes to the eventual champions.
Oman is competing in their second T20 World Cup, having upset Ireland in the previous edition.
Their team is nearly entirely made up of semi-professional South Asian expatriates who work full-time and play cricket. Many people work out at 5:30 a.m.
Papua New Guinea is competing in its first T20 World Cup.
They’ve been in Oman for a month and have already acclimatized to the Gulf’s conditions.
“It’s a proud moment for myself and the boys,” PNG captain Assad Vala remarked.
Bangladesh has only won one match at the tournament since 2007, but with a world ranking of six, they will be favorites to get to the second round.
They come into the tournament having won the home series against Australia, New Zealand, and Zimbabwe.
Are England’s chances of winning slim?
In each of their past three T20 World Cup outings, the Scots have failed at the first hurdle, in 2007, 2009, and 2016.
They won their first and only match at the competition five years ago, an eight-wicket victory over lowly Hong Kong in a rain-affected contest.
After qualifying, many consider Eoin Morgan’s England to be the slight favorites to repeat as world champions.
On October 23, the top nations will compete in the event, which will be contested in stadiums that are 70% full, with Australia and South Africa meeting in the Super 12 stage opener and England taking on the West Indies.
At Lord’s in 2019, England defeated New Zealand to claim the 50-over title.
Morgan’s team, on the other hand, will be without Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer, who were instrumental in their one-day World Cup victory.
In the 2016 T20 final in Kolkata, England had to defend 19 runs in the last over, but West Indies’ Carlos Brathwaite famously struck Stokes for four straight sixes, earning the Caribbeans their second world T20 triumph.
Many members of the victorious team will return, led by Kieron Pollard and veteran warhorses Dwayne Bravo, 38, and Chris Gayle, 42.
India will open their campaign on October 24 against arch-rivals and fellow previous champions Pakistan, with Virat Kohli hoping to make a strong final impression before standing down as captain of the T20 team.
India eye repeat
Kohli will attempt to duplicate India’s 2007 victory in the inaugural edition.
Many stars were able to get acquainted to the UAE surfaces during the Indian Premier League, which ended on Friday.
Glenn Maxwell, for example, hit 513 runs in the world’s most popular cricket tournament, including six half-centuries, a performance that will help Australia win its first T20 crown.
New Zealand, captained by Kane Williamson, will be aiming for two consecutive global titles after winning the inaugural Test tournament in June, defeating India in the final.
This year’s Men’s T20 World Cup takes place in three stages.
In Round 1, two groups of four teams compete in a round-robin format. Each group’s top two teams advance to the Super 12 stage. Three teams from the 2019 Qualifier and one of the two automatic qualifiers – Sri Lanka and Bangladesh – are in each of the Round 1 Groups.
The top seed from Group A and the second seed from Group B will compete in Super 12 Group 1, while the top seed from Group B and the second seed from Group A will compete in Group 2.
The Super 12 stage features two groups of six teams competing in a round-robin format, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the knock-out round, which includes two semi-finals and a final. Four automatic qualifiers — tournament hosts India and the top seven countries on the MRF Tyres ICC rankings at the cut-off date – and two Round 1 qualifiers are in each of the two Super 12 groups.
Super 12 stage commences: 23 October
The tournament’s Super 12 stage begins just one day after Round 1, with Group 1 rivals Australia and South Africa competing in Abu Dhabi.
The next day, Group 2 kicks off in Dubai with a mouth-watering battle between India and Pakistan.
Super 12 stage concludes: 8 November
The Super 12 stage concludes on November 8th, with India facing their group’s Round 1 Group A qualifier in Dubai in the final match of the phase.
Semi-finals: 10 November and 11 November
The top two clubs from each Super 12 Group advance to the semi-finals, which will be held on November 10 and 11 in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, respectively.
Final: 14 November
The tournament reaches its conclusion on 14 November at Dubai International Stadium.