After the women’s and U19 qualification structures were announced last week, the ICC this week revealed the four-step ladder to the 16-team 2022 Men’s T20 World Cup.
With hosts Australia and the top 11 sides at the 2021 event automatically qualifying, the new pathway will see 71 out of the remaining 92 ICC members competing for the four remaining slots in Australia. Across a packed schedule of international cricket in 2021, spectators will see debuts for Hungary, Romania and Serbia at ICC events, while Finland and Japan will play host to T20 World Cup qualifiers for the first time.
Starting in April 2021 with the 13-team African sub-regional tournament, qualifying teams feed into regional finals across each of the five ICC regions, then eight teams move up from those events into the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in early 2022, joining the four sides (Nepal, Singapore, UAE, Zimbabwe) who have qualified by virtue of their position on the MRF Tyres ICC Men's T20I Team Rankings table. Of those 16 nations (split into two groups of 8), four teams will go through to the main event starting in October 2022.
World Cup-winning coach to take charge of Nepal men’s team
As well as the good news of their appearance at the 2022 qualifier, Nepal have this week been boosted by the appointment of Dav Whatmore as national head coach. The 66-year old Australian, who played seven Tests for his home country in 1979, brings a wealth of coaching experience to the job.
Most notably he was at the helm for Sri Lanka’s stunning championship run in the 1996 Cricket World Cup, but he also coached Bangladesh to their first Test series win in 2005, and an upset appearance at the 2007 Cricket World Cup’s Super Eights stage.
He also guided Pakistan to triumph at the 2012 Asia Cup, and has mentored domestic teams as diverse as Lancashire and the Kolkata Knight Riders. He has been in charge of Singapore for much of 2020.
The Cricket Association of Nepal (CAN) decided on Whatmore after a lengthy deliberation process that saw them examine 72 applications and interview 12 candidates, including Pubudu Dassanayake and Apurva Desai, who have both been involved with the Nepali setup in the past.
With Nepal’s tournament record being patchy in recent times, CAN hope that Whatmore’s track record with emerging teams will allow the cricket-mad nation to develop more consistency in the international arena.
Several other staff appointments at CAN were announced this week, with Raunaq Bahadur Malla appointed as their new general manager, Binod Das (ex-national team captain and U19 coach) brought on board as the cricket manager, and Ramesh Kumar Neupane as chief financial officer.
Czech Cricket names the first-ever CEO
Another Associate with some personnel news was the Czech Republic, who unveiled their first-ever CEO in a move designed to improve communication and domestic outreach. Terry O’Connor, who has been involved with the board since 2016, was elevated into the new position with the goal of building on Czech cricket’s recent successes in local development. In a press release, O’Connor explained his vision to continue building the game’s profile in the Central European nation. He said: "The expansion of the leadership with the position of CEO is another important step towards the development of cricket in the Czech Republic. In 2015 we had five Czech teams playing in our domestic men’s league, with no women’s or junior leagues. In 2021 we will have 18 men’s teams competing in our men’s T20 league, a women’s league, as well as junior leagues for boys and girls at under 10, 12, 14 and 18 age groups."
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