As Ireland are touted favourites for the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier A, Nepal will be aiming to return to global showpiece. Pooled in Group B, Nepal will get stern challenge from hosts Oman and Canada, while Phillipines will be tragetting to spring surprise.
The other group consists of Ireland, UAE, Bahrain and Germany. Here is what the eight captains in Oman have to say ahead of he tournament.
Andy Balbirnie (Ireland)
We know that when we play well, we can beat any team. The short and sharp format of the game leaves less scope for complacency. There are not many occasions when we get the favourite tag. So, I am happy to have it. Usually, it has been the other way round when we, as underdogs, have upset some of the top teams.
Ahmed Raza (UAE)
We all know what these Qualifiers mean to the participating nations. We haven’t qualified for the global showpiece since 2014 where I played. The boys are all motivated and are obsessed with the goal we have set out to achieve. Hopefully, we can perform well in all aspects of the game and qualify.
Venkat Ganesan (Germany)
The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier is a great opportunity to showcase how far German cricket has come. We have a team that is a mix of different cultures as the squad has players from varied nationalities. We have players who have roots in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and South Africa. They bring together different styles and over the past few years, the game has grown fast in Germany.
Sarfraz Ali (Bahrain)
We have worked hard to reach this stage. The morale of the players is very high as we are making our debut in the global Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers. We all know that in this format one good spell, or one good knock can change the fortunes of the team. We are the underdogs, but I believe that we have the required arsenal to topple some experienced sides.
Zeeshan Maqsood (Oman)
We are happy with our preparations and the win against the in-form UAE team in the concluding game of the quadrangular T20 series was a big motivation for us. We have made it to two successive T20 World Cups, and I am hopeful that we can make it a hat-trick.
Sandeep Lamichhane (Nepal)
We see our chances as good to qualify. In this format, it doesn’t matter if we play against a Test-playing rival or Associate nation. Nepal will be a tough team to beat as we have a good mix of senior and youngsters. As a captain, I think that there is a lot of responsibility on my shoulders, and I would love to make it a memorable one. It is our dream to play in the World Cup.
Navneet Dhillon (Canada)
We are confident of creating some surprises. We have a positive mindset, and the motive is to qualify for the World Cup in style. We arrived early in Oman to get acclimatised to the conditions and with the players being together for now more than a year, this unit is confident. The group is focused and believe that this is the time to make history. We may be the dark horse of the event and other teams should gear up for surprise results.
Jonathan Hull (Philippines)
The team preparations have been far from ideal, but we have made the most of every opportunity to connect with each other as a team. It has helped strengthen the culture of the team. We hope to bring pride to all Filipinos around the world. We hope to compete to our potential each ball of every match and we want to show that we belong at this level.