Afghanistan bag direct qualification to 2020 T20 World Cup

Afghanistan bag direct qualification to 2020 T20 World Cup

Afghanistan have secured a direct qualification to the group stage of the 2020 T20 World Cup. They were ranked 8th in the ICC T20 rankings on the 2018 cutoff date and are rewarded te direct qualification berth ahead of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka have slipped to 9th place recently in the T20 rankings and will now enter a qualifying stage ahead of the “Super 12” stage. Sri Lanka will need to end in Top 2 of a 4 team group in order to qualify.


"It is a bit disappointing that we have not been able to ensure a direct Super 12s berth but I'm confident that we will do well in the tournament," Sri Lanka T20I captain, Lasith Malinga, told the ICC. "Having played three finals and winning once, it is natural that everyone expected us to finish in the top-eight but we have to take the opportunity in the extra matches of the group stage and prepare well for the knock-out matches."

Bangladesh are placed 10th in the rankings and thus join Sri Lanka in the qualifying matches. When asked about the same, captain Shakib Al Hasan said,"We have not secured a direct Super 12s berth but I'm confident that we will do well in the tournament by going through the group stage.

"We are a side capable of beating the best on our day and I see no reason why we can't go far in the tournament. There is still some time and we will use it to be at our best for the T20 World Cup."

This will be the first time for Afghanistan to enter the T20 World Cup directly into the group stages without playing the qualifiers. It will also be the first time that full member nations as Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and now Ireland will have to secure the group stages birth by playing the qualifying stage.