IRELAND’S CRICKETERS WILL open their ICC Twenty20 World Cup qualification campaign against Namibia in Dubai next March.
Sixteen teams will do battle at a 12-day tournament in the United Arab Emirates for the final two places at the World Cup which begins in Sri Lanka next September.
Ireland — who qualified for the finals in both 2009 and 2010 — have been drawn in Group B alongside Kenya, Scotland, Namibia, Uganda, Oman, Italy and the USA.
Afghanistan, the Netherlands, Canada, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong, Bermuda, Denmark and Nepal are in Group A.
Both group winners will then play each other in the “first qualifying final” with the winner securing one of the two remaining World Cup spots, while the other is decided via a play-off system.
The runner-up in each group will play the third-placed team in the other group before the winners meet in a “preliminary final.”
The winner of the preliminary final and the loser of the first qualifying final will then meet in the second qualifying final, with the winner of that match guaranteeing their place at the World Cup proper.
The two qualified teams will then play each other in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier final. The winner will join Australia and the West Indies in Group B while the runner-up will be added to Group A along with India and England.
ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers – Selected Fixtures
- 13 March - Ireland v Namibia, Dubai
- 14 March - Ireland v Kenya, Dubai
- 15 March - Ireland v Italy, Abu Dhabi
- 16 March – Ireland v USA, Dubai
- 18 March - Ireland v Scotland, Dubai
- 19 March – Ireland v Uganda, Dubai
- 20 March - Ireland v Oman, Abu Dhabi