Bangladesh and former champions Sri Lanka will have to play in the group stage of the ICC World T20 scheduled for Australia in 2020 as both the teams failed to manage top eight positions in the ICC Men’s T20 World Ranking within the deadline of December 31, 2018.
According to qualification criteria set for the ensuing World T20, the top eight teams make it straight to the Super-12 stage while the remaining two teams will play in the group stage along with six other teams who will make it through from the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifiers in 2019. Four teams from the group stage will advance to the Super-12.
Top eight teams of the ICC T20 World Ranking till December 2018 -- Pakistan, India, England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies and Afghanistan -- will directly play in the 12-team final round while ICC ranked 9th Sri and ranked 10th Bangladesh will have to play in the eight-team group stage to be held from 18 October to 15 November 2020 to book the remaining four seats for the final round.
In an immediate reaction, Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga was disappointed at 2014 champions not making it to the Super-12 but was confident of the team doing well in the tournament while Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan indicated that recent performances had given them belief and they would prepare well for the challenge.
Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga said, “It’s a bit disappointing that we have not been able to ensure a direct Super-12 berth but I’m confident that we will do well in the tournament.
“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 captain Shakib Al Hasan said, “We haven’t secured a direct Super-12 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’s still some time and we will use it to be at our best for the T20 World Cup,” he said.
“We won a T20 series against the West Indies, the world champions, in their backward not so long ago. That performance has given us a lot of belief in our Twenty20 capabilities,” Shakib added.