All 14 Captains outside the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi - Image by ICC Online Media Zone @ICC (Twitter)

Shortage of time to host back-to-back global qualifiers for both 2020 and 2021 Men’s T20 World Cup’s in Australia and India could force ICC to change the qualification pathway for the 2021 event.

The tournament will be played in a 16-team format; however, the next ICC meeting in March 2020 will take a call on how many team’s will qualify directly for the tournament and how many team’s will join them through the qualifiers, which most likely be the regional qualifiers. In such a scenario, the funds allocated specifically for the global qualifiers will be distributed among the lower-ranked Associate members, who take part in the sub-regional qualifiers in each of the 5 regions (Asia, Africa, Americas, East Asia-Pacific and Europe).

Regional Qualifiers to replace Global Qualifiers for 2021 T20 World Cup 1
All 14 Captains with the Trophy outside the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi – Image by ICC Online Media Zone @ICC (Twitter)

In all probability, the sub-regional and regional finals qualifiers for the 2021 World T20 will be underway during the staging of 2020 World T20, and is in danger of not getting completed until FY2021, which will mean that there will be absolutely no time left to host global qualifiers in a set period of time and with adequate gap between the qualifiers and the main draw of T20 World Cup.

The idea being discussed right now is to allow the Super 12 teams from the 2020 edition to gain automatic entry into the 2021 edition. Eight of those 12 are in the main draw for 2020 based on ICC rankings, while four others (Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Ireland, PNG, Netherlands, Namibia, Scotland and Oman will compete for the spots in the first round of 2020 T20 World Cup) will join them in the Super 12 stage. The four remaining spots for 2021 T20 World Cup would be decided by the winners of regional finals.

Now, considering that there are five regional qualification pathways, to accomodate four entrants, two regional finals could be clubbed together to decide the one winner to qualify for 2021 T20 World Cup.

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