The ICC has announced the schedule and draw for the 2020 T20 World Cup Qualifier tournament in the United Arab Emirates. The 14-team tournament, which will run from October 18 to November 2 in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, will offer a total of six qualifying berths to the main tournament.
The tournament will see the 14 countries split into two groups of seven, seeded based on their respective T20I ranking at the end of August. Zimbabwe’s ongoing suspension from the ICC saw them being replaced by Nigeria as the third qualifier from Africa. Group A, whose matches will be split across two ICC Academy grounds and Dubai International Stadium, comprises the Netherlands, Scotland, Namibia, Kenya, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, and Bermuda.
Group B, based in Abu Dhabi, will feature hosts UAE together with Ireland, Oman, Hong Kong, Canada, Jersey, and Nigeria. The 51 matches will be played across four grounds, including the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, while the majority of the play-off and knock-out matches is scheduled to be held at the Dubai International Stadium, and only the matches played at Sheikh Zayed and Dubai International will be televised.
Each group will contest a single round-robin, after which the bottom three teams will face direct elimination. The group winners will progress directly to the semi-finals while guaranteeing their qualification spots. The second and third-placed team in either group will play crossover play-offs to determine the remaining two semi-finals berths and the third and fourth qualifying spots. The fourth-placed team in either group will then get a shot at the losers from the play-offs, with the last two qualifying spots at stake.
The top six countries at the tournament will qualify for the 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia, where they will join Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the "first round" of the tournament, from which the top four sides will qualify for the main phase of the tournament.