T20 World Cup Qualifiers: A look at the three latest entrants


Glancing to the competition in the West Indies and the USA next year, we run the magnifying glass over the teams to punch their tickets in the last week.

Under the new leadership of Paul Stirling, Ireland were on the whole solid in their campaign, only dropping points at the backend of the tournament in a washout against Germany and a final day defeat to Scotland having already secured T20 World Cup qualification.

Stirling (122 runs at 145 strike rate) was one of five Ireland players to raise the bat for a half-century during the tournament, and only edged by wicket-keeper/batter Lorcan Tucker (128 at 147 strike rate) as the team's top run-scorer.

Tucker was a revelation for Ireland in the 2022 campaign, and fittingly found his feet at international level in the USA (2024 tournament co-hosts), back in a bilateral series in 2021. His power in the middle order should provide a point of difference with the bat.

With the ball, pacer Mark Adair was the joint-leading wicket-taker with 12 at an economy of 5.33, while there were positives in the form of leg-spinner Ben White (nine wickets).

Bouncing back after their disappointing campaign in Zimbabwe at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier, Ireland will have time to plot their T20 World Cup attack.

Ireland seal upset win over England | Match Highlights | T20WC 2022

Match highlights of Ireland securing a famous victory over England with a five-run DLS method win in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022.

Assad Vala's men enjoyed home conditions and the buoyant Amini Park crowd, going six wins from six at the East Asia-Pacific Final in Port Moresby.

Despite a couple of small hiccups with the bat, particularly early in the tournament, the Barramundis held firm to finish two wins clear of second-placed Japan.

Kept to 76/4 and 66/4 by the Philippines and Vanuatu respectively in two particular first innings outings, the hosts found new safety in the form of all-rounder Hiri Hiri, who enjoyed a breakout tournament. The 28-year-old's 46 and 2/7 against the Philippines was a coming-of-age performance.

'Our leader' and 'big brother' - Meet PNG captain Assad Vala | T20 World Cup

Captain Vala showed his typical cool with 181 runs at an average of 36.20 (strike rate 133) and as the tournament progressed, aggressor Tony Ura found his groove, making quick-fire scores of 61 and 47 in the final two matches.

A bulk of the Barramundis squad from their T20 World Cup 2021 appearance will feature at the 2024 edition, though it's fair to assume the side will be more prepared for 2024.

The side's preparation for 2021 was curtailed by both Covid and family tragedy, and all-rounder Norman Vanua, who picked up two Player of the Match awards in the Qualifier, is sure to play a bigger part after his shoulder prevented him from bowling two years ago.

Add the injection of one or two young players and a new coaching group headed by Nathan Reardon and PNG look a team capable of challenging at the next level.

Nineteen-year-old John Kariko showed a calm beyond his years at the Qualifier, taking a bulk of his ten wickets in the Powerplay bowling his left-arm orthodox, while Sema Kamea provides a skiddy left-arm pace edge.

John Kariko's five-wicket haul | UGA v PNG | ICC U19 Men’s CWC 2022

Whilst showing all their qualities in spite of missing out at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier, Scotland's press in the shorter format was emphatic, going undefeated with six wins from six on home soil.

The Scots blazed with the bat, boasting four of the top five run-scorers at the tournament, with Richie Berrington and Ollie Hairs posting the tournament-high 248.

Berrington hits one out of the ground

After reversing his international retirement to play in the tournament, Hairs made headlines with a stunning 127* off just 53 balls against Italy, bringing up three figures in just 40 balls. Not to be outdone, George Munsey's 132 (61) against Austria also showed his aggressive capabilities.

Scotland will be encouraged by the work of 24-year-old left-armer Bradley Currie, who claimed 5/13 (4) against Ireland, on top of a three-wicket haul against Scotland. Gavin Main's impact on his return too should also buoy the Scots, with the right-armer claiming 11 wickets in six outings.

In a similar vein to Ireland, their absence from the upcoming 50-over showpiece could bode well for their T20 World Cup preparations in comparison to a bulk of their adversaries.

Americas (1 qualifying team)
30 September-7 October 2023 - Bermuda
Bermuda, Canada, Cayman Islands, Panama.

Africa (2 qualifying teams)
20 November – 1 December 2023 - Namibia
Kenya, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zimbabwe.

Asia (2 qualifying teams)
30 October – 9 November
Bahrain, Hong Kong, Nepal, Oman, Singapore, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Winner of Sub
Regional Qualifier A and Winner of Sub Regional Qualifier B.

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