KABUL – Afghanistan have earned direct entry into the group stage of the T20 World Cup in 2020 – but Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will have to qualify.
Afghanistan’s rise to eighth in the ICC T20 rankings means they will go straight into the Super 12s alongside hosts Australia, defending champions Windies, England, India, Pakistan, New Zealand and South Africa.
Asghar Afghan’s side – who have qualified for the previous four T20 World Cups – won each of their seven T20Is in 2018, including a 3-0 sweep over Bangladesh and have emerged victorious in 18 of their last 21 games in the format.
The 2020 T20 World Cup will mark the first time that Afghanistan won’t have to go through a qualifying round in order to reach the main phase of the T20 World Cup, now dubbed the “Super 12s”. They went a perfect seven-for-seven in T20Is in 2018, including a 3-0 sweep of Bangladesh, to move up to eighth on the rankings table, five points clear of Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Afghanistan qualified for the first in the West Indies in 2010 after beating Ireland in the final of the T20 World Cup Qualifier in UAE earlier that year. They once again qualified in 2012 for a then 12-team event and also reached the opening round of the 2014 tournament but finished below both Nepal and eventual opening-round group winners Bangladesh.
Ireland, Zimbabwe, Scotland, Netherlands, Oman and Hong Kong will play in the Global Qualifier alongside eight other nations from five regional qualification competitions (Africa, Americas, Asia, East Asia-Pacific, Europe).