Hosts Bermuda among four hunting T20 World Cup spot

By Sports Desk September 26, 2023
Bermuda cricket team. Bermuda cricket team.

The journey to next year's ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in the West Indies and the USA continues, with Bermuda set to host the Americas Qualifier from 30 September to 7 October 2023.

Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands and Panama will battle it out in a double round-robin format, over six days to earn a place in the 2024 edition of the Men’s T20 World Cup – the biggest one yet, featuring 20 teams in total.

As host, Bermuda will look to continue their good form from winning the Subregional Qualifier, to return to the biggest stage in men’s T20 cricket, after their historical appearance in 2007.

Canada, arguably the favourites of the event, will look to confirm this and seal their ticket to a new World Cup participation. The Cayman Islands are a regular fixture in the regional final but are yet to go through, and, as such, they will push hard to make it this time. Panama are underdogs, as their participation may come as a surprise to many, but with no real pressure on their backs, this could allow them to play freely and upset the main candidates.

This event promises to be a competitive affair, with the four teams confident of their chances of making it through to the main stage.

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    Johnny Grave, CWI Chief Executive Officer stated, “we are pleased and enthusiastic to be the first ICC Full Member Board to partner with FairBreak.  One of the new strategic objectives of CWI has been to achieve parity between women and men in cricket by 2027 and we believe that this partnership will allow us to showcase the talent and potential of female cricketers in the West Indies, while promoting inclusivity and gender equality within the sport.”

    Cheryll Rogers, FairBreak Chief Executive Officer commented, “we are delighted to partner with CWI and bring the support of FairBreak to the communities of the Caribbean. It has been my pleasure to bring FairBreak up to a new level for women’s cricket. Our aspiration is to partner with cricket boards and charities to uplift community cricket as well as create new pathways into the women’s professional game.  The new FairBreak team and their commitment to the highest standards of safety and governance, are setting a gold standard for the environment in which we invite players to play. Our tournaments will now be held in the best stadiums in the world, including the West Indies. A truly unique opportunity.”

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    The match on Saturday was called off without a ball being bowled due to the persistent downpour at Lauderhill.

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    Group B remains wide open heading into the final day of pool action when England face Namibia before Scotland will know what result is required when they meet Australia later in the day.

    Scotland are two points clear of England, though Jos Buttler's side have a superior net run-rate after hammering Oman in a complete thrashing on Thursday to keep their Super 8s hopes alive.

    England will be expected to overcome Namibia earlier in the day, leaving it likely Scotland must overcome already-qualified Australia to seal their group-stage progression.

    Although Scotland have lost all five white-ball meetings with Australia, each coming in the 50-over format, Leask believes his team should be confident heading into the game.

    "Australia are one of the best in the world," Leask said.

    "It is going to be a tough game, but why can't we go and do what we've done before and cause an upset?"

    Scotland are in this position after their washout against England before a commanding victory over Namibia, while Buttler's side are trailing due to their defeat to Australia.

    An unlikely scenario still brings the chance for Scotland to lose by a narrow margin and progress even if England beat Namibia, and Leask says this situation was always on the cards.

    "We knew coming into this game it would be," he said. "England had two tough games to play and they've played the first one very well.

    "We always knew this was going to be a must-win game for us and it's a hell of an opportunity for us to go and play really good cricket and take on one of the best in the world."

    Josh Hazlewood mooted the idea that Australia may concede the game in a certain manner to send England out, though team-mate Pat Cummins believes a decision like that is not plausible.

    Regardless, Leask insists Scotland are firing on all cylinders before this decider.

    "Our boys are firing, we've got some good skill sets, some nice spinners, some good seamers and then batters who are playing really well," Leask said.

    "We're going at this game quietly confident. Our batters are probably going to have to step up knowing we're facing the best in the world.

    "They've probably got the best all-round bowling attack in the world. It's going to have to be two or three batters in that batting innings that are really going to have to put Australia under the pump with a ball.

    "We know that it's capable of happening and that's possible."

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