When is the T20 World Cup Qualifier in the UAE – and why are Nepal not in it?

The battle for the final spots at next year's tournament in Australia will take place in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Here are all the details for the October-November competition

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - January 31, 2019: UAE's captain Mohammad Naveed takes the caught and bowled of Nepal's Sompal Kami in the the match between the UAE and Nepal in an international T20 series. Thursday, January 31st, 2019 at ICC, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak/The National
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The final six teams to play at the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia next year will be decided by a qualifying tournament in the UAE.

The top 10 teams in the world rankings are already booked in for the main event, which will be played in October and November 2020 in six venues across Australia.

The sides already there are Pakistan, England, South Africa, India, Australia, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Bangladesh.

Fourteen other teams will be vying to join them. The top six teams in the tournament in Dubai and Abu Dhabi will go to the T20 World Cup.

When they get there, they will be split into two groups of four in the first round, with Sri Lanka waiting for them in one pool, and Bangladesh in the other.

How does it work?

The Qualifier is divided into two groups of seven. The winners of the respective pools advance directly to the semifinal stage – and, more important, qualify for Australia immediately.

The next three best placed teams in each group then enter a play-off system, with the last surviving six teams advancing to the World Cup.

When is it?

The tournament starts on October 18, in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The final will take place on November 2 at the Dubai International Stadium.

Who is in it?

The first sides entered into the Qualifier were those ranked 11 to 16 in the ICC T20I Championship as of December 31, 2018. These were Scotland, Netherlands, Zimbabwe – who were subsequently barred from competing – Hong Kong, Oman and Ireland.

The UAE qualified as hosts of the tournament, while the remaining eight teams made it via regional qualifying competitions. They are Papua New Guinea, Namibia, Kenya, Nigeria – who replaced Zimbabwe – Jersey, Singapore, Canada and Bermuda.

Why are Nepal not in it?

The highest-ranked side in the world other than the 10 automatic qualifiers for the T20 World Cup are Nepal.

And yet the world’s No 11 ranked side will not be at the qualifying tournament.

Had they been, Nepal would have had high hopes for making it all the way to Australia.

They have good recent memories of playing in the UAE, having beaten the national team in series in both T20 and ODI cricket earlier this year.

However, they missed out on the chance to play at the Qualifier when they finished third behind Singapore and Qatar at the Asia Regional finals in Singapore in July.

Why are Zimbabwe not in it?

At No 15 in the world, Zimbabwe are the next highest-ranked absentee from the competition. In July, the ICC suspended Zimbabwe Cricket and barred their team from playing in ICC events.


Group A (world ranking in brackets)

1 Scotland (12)

2 Netherlands (16)

3 Papua New Guinea (17)

4 Namibia (20)

5 Singapore (21)

6 Kenya (29)

7 Bermuda (30)

Group B

1 UAE (13)

2 Ireland (14)

3 Oman (18)

4 Hong Kong (19)

5 Canada (24)

6 Jersey (25)

7 Nigeria (38)

Complete fixtures

Friday, October 18

ICC Academy: 10am, Scotland v Singapore, 2.10pm, Netherlands v Kenya

Zayed Cricket Stadium: 2.10pm, Hong Kong v Ireland, 7.30pm, Oman v UAE

Saturday, October 19

ICC Academy: 10am, PNG v Bermuda, 2.10pm, Netherlands v Namibia, Scotland v Kenya

Zayed Cricket Stadium: 2.10pm, Jersey v Nigeria, 7.30pm, Ireland v UAE

Sunday, October 20

ICC Academy: 10am, PNG v Namibia, 2.10pm, Bermuda v Singapore

Abu Dhabi Cricket, Oval 1: 10am, Canada v Jersey

Zayed Cricket Stadium: 2.10pm, Hong Kong v Oman

Monday, October 21

ICC Academy: 10am, Scotland v PNG, 2.10pm Kenya v Bermuda

Zayed Cricket Stadium: 2.10am, Hong Kong v UAE, 7.30pm, Canada v Nigeria

Abu Dhabi Cricket, Oval 1: 2.10pm, Ireland v Oman

Tuesday, October 22

ICC Academy: 10am, Scotland v Namibia, 2.10pm, Singapore v Netherlands

Abu Dhabi Cricket Oval 1: 2.10pm, UAE v Jersey

Wednesday, October 23

ICC Academy: 10am, Namibia v Bermuda, 2.10pm, Singapore v Kenya

Zayed Cricket Stadium: 2.10pm, Ireland v Canada, 7.30pm, Hong Kong v Jersey

Abu Dhabi Cricket Oval 1: 10am, Oman v Nigeria

Thursday, October 24

Dubai International Stadium: 7.30pm, Scotland v Bermuda

ICC Academy: 10am, Netherlands v PNG

Abu Dhabi Cricket Oval 1: 10am, UAE v Nigeria, 2.10pm, Hong Kong v Canada

Friday, October 25

Dubai International Stadium: 10am, PNG v Singapore, 2.10pm, Namibia v Kenya

Zayed Cricket Stadium: 7.30pm, Oman v Canada

Abu Dhabi Cricket Oval 1: 10am, Ireland v Jersey

Saturday, October 26

Dubai International Stadium: 2.10pm, Netherlands v Bermuda, 7.30pm, Namibia v Singapore

Zayed Cricket Stadium: 10am: Ireland v Nigeria

Sunday, October 27

Dubai International Stadium: 10am, PNG v Kenya, 2.10pm, Scotland v Netherlands

Zayed Cricket Stadium: 2.10pm, Oman v Jersey, 7.30pm, UAE v Canada

Abu Dhabi Cricket Oval 1: 10am, Hong Kong v Nigeria

Tuesday, October 29

Dubai International Stadium: 2.10pm, Play-off 1 – A2 v B3, 7.30pm, Play-off 2 – A3 v B2 (

Wednesday, October 30

Dubai International Stadium: 2.10pm, Play-off 3 – A4 v Loser of Play-off 1, 7.30pm, Play-off 4 – B4 v Loser of Play-off 2

Friday, November 1

Dubai International Stadium: 2.10pm, Semifinal 1 – B1 v Winner of Play-off 1, 7.30pm, Semifinal 2 – A1 v Winner of Play-off 2

Saturday, November 2

Dubai International Stadium: 2.10pm, Third place Play-off – B1 v Winner of Play-off 1, 7.30pm, Final