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Nepal, UAE to go through lengthy WT20 qualifying process; Unfair for ODI achievers?

Apr 20, 2018 | Parbati Lama |

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has condemned Nepal and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the latest entrants in the One Day International (ODI) club -- to go through a lenghty qualification process for the 2020 ICC World Twenty20 in Australia.

Nepal and UAE, along with Scotland, had both secured ODI status until 2022 following their performance in the recently concluded ICC World Cup Qualifiers in Zimbabwe. With ODI status already achieved, it was expected that Nepal and UAE would both be granted Twenty20 International status and automatically find themselves in the 2019 World T20 Qualifiers. 

However, world cricket's supreme body of sports has placed both teams in the first of the three-tier qualification process in their path to the World Twenty20 slated for October 18 to 15 Down Under.

Nepal will begin their journey to World Twenty20 through the ICC World Twenty20 Asia Group 'B' (Eastern Region) Qualifier slated for October 3-12 in Malaysia. Along with the hosts and Nepal, Bhutan, China, Singapore, Thailand and Myanmar are other teams competing in Eastern Region. 

UAE will compete in Group 'A' (Western Region) Qualifier that began on Friday in Kuwait and also includes Bahrain, Maldives, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. Three teams each from the Eastern and Western Region will qualify for the Asia Final.

ICC is currently holding similar qualifying tournaments in 12 different groups of five different continents involving 62 countries in the first phase. The 25 best teams from the first round will advance into the second and will compete in their respective regional qualifiers including in the Africa, Americas, Asia, East Asia Pacific and Europe.

The Asia Cup Final will send the two top teams into the Global Qualifiers.

The eight teams qualifying from the regional qualifier will then join the six teams from the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 which are not inside the top 10 spots of the ICC Twenty20 International rankings. 

Oman and Hong Kong have already found themselves Global Qualifier by the virtue of their appearance in the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 among the non-Test playing Asian teams. 

Nepal had competed in the 2012 and 2014 ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers following their performance in the ACC Twenty20 Elite. The ACC Twenty20 Elite was subsequently scrapped but Nepal still made it through as Twenty20 International team for the 2016 Qualifiers in Ireland and Scotland.


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