The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Monday announced the qualification pathway for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Australia which is set to take place in October and November 2022.
ICC, in a statement, said that the 15 spots in Australia will be decided through a four-step qualifying process which starts in April 2021 and 11 regional qualification tournaments across five regions have been rescheduled to 2021, due to COVID-19 and will now feed into the 2022 Australia event.
"With the return of cricket in early 2021, we will see 86 different teams with the opportunity to fill the 15 World Cup spots -- with hosts Australia already securing one -- over a 13-month qualification campaign. For the first time ever Hungary, Romania and Serbia will be competing for Men's T20 World Cup qualification and Finland will play host to an ICC event for the very first time. In a festival of cricket, it will also be the first time that Japan will host a Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier, on the back of the U19 Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier they will host two weeks before," ICC said.
At the regional level, there will be 67 Associate Members taking part, said the ICC, adding that due to the depth of strength within Africa and Europe, both regions have sub-regional qualifiers feeding into a final qualifier for the region. Africa, Americas, EAP and Europe will have one top tier regional qualifier and Asia will have A and B to determine which teams will progress into the two eight-team global qualifiers.
The 16 available spots in the Global Qualifiers will be filled by one team each from Africa and EAP Qualifier respectively. They will be joined by two teams each from the Americas and Europe qualifiers. Finally, Asia which has a Qualifier A and B will see one team from each event make up the eight spots from regional qualification.
The remaining eight spots will go to the four bottom teams from the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 and together with Nepal, Singapore, UAE and Zimbabwe which have gained direct entry based on their ICC Men's T20I Team Rankings.
Four teams from the two global qualifiers will join hosts Australia and the 11 automatic qualifiers from the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 to make up the 16-team Men's T20 World Cup 2022.
In the lead up to the Australia event, there will be 225 Men's T20 Internationals scheduled to be played across 13 months, giving every team an opportunity to climb the ICC Men's T20I Team Rankings.
ICC Head of Events, Chris Tetley, in a statement, said: "We are delighted to announce qualification for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Australia in 2022. The pathway which culminates in the eighth Men's T20 World Cup which will be held in Australia, sees the likes of Hungary, Romania and Serbia competing for the first time in an ICC event of this format, highlighting the increased competitiveness within Associate Members. In addition, a remarkable 225 Men's T20 Internationals are scheduled to be played providing a substantial number of playing opportunities to all members."
The 16 teams that had originally qualified for the 2020 Australia event will now play in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 in India. The participating teams for that event are Australia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, England, India, Ireland, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies.
All events are subject to COVID-19 arrangements if required at that time.