Ireland, Scotland enter as favourites in T20 World Cup global qualifier 

14 teams will contest the event for six places at the World Cup next year in Australia.

Ireland and Scotland are being considered favourites to qualify | Getty

The ICC T20 World Cup global qualifier begins in UAE on October 18 with six places in the preliminary round of next year's World Cup in Australia at stake. 

The 14-team tournament sees the best of the associate countries and new Test nation Ireland contesting games in Dubai and Abu Dhabi across two weeks, culminating with the final on November 2. 

Ireland captain Gary Wilson, knowing his countrymen just can't afford to miss out on another World Cup appearance, wants to ensure they finish "right at the top again"; an uphill task in a competition also involving newly emerged Nigeria and Jersey, who are chasing a "dream", besides the rest of the top-ranked associate teams. 

Among those, Scotland enters the competition as firm favourites to join either Sri Lanka or Bangladesh down under next summer and try and earn one of the two spots each available from two groups that feed places for the Super 12 stage. 

"We are here to compete at the world stage,"  Wilson told reporters. "We have a great record in the Middle East and the boys are looking forward to a great tournament and ensure we finish right at the top again."

The winners of each group of seven at the qualifier in UAE  will qualify automatically, with the four remaining spots to be decided during an interesting playoffs round. 

"We know every team is dangerous in this competition," said Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer. "It is vitally important not only for us as Scotland but for every team here."

Group A consists of Bermuda, Singapore, Netherlands, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Namibia and Scotland, whereas Canada, UAE, Jersey, Hong Kong, Ireland, Nigeria and Oman form Group B. 

"For Jersey, it would probably be the biggest thing that has happened in our sporting history," said Jersey captain Charles Perchard.

"It’s a dream of ours to potentially play in a World Cup next year. We’re a small island and in a lot of sports we do punch above our weight, especially in cricket and qualification would be massive for our country."

(Inputs from PTI)


By Kashish Chadha - 15 Oct, 2019

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