Saturday, March 15, 2014

ICC WT20 2014 begins tomorrow in Bangladesh

From tomorrow the blue eyed kid of the cricketing fraternity will be out there again to woo spectators from all around the globe again. The slam bang wallop version begins tomorrow. Yes, the WT20 2014 begins tomorrow in Bangladesh.

It will be a ten team event this time around with the top eight teams get direct entries. Two teams will be chosen from a qualifying round (it comprises eight teams).

The two Qualifying Groups are as under
  • Qualifying Group A – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Nepal.
  • Qualifying Group B – Ireland, Netherlands, UAE, Zimbabwe.
The top team from each group will have earned its right to play against the top boys.

The Qualifying Group A seems to me to be the group of death. Afghanistan is a team that has shown tremendous potential and they can usurp any team on their day. Hong Kong has won both their warm up games and hence must be high on confidence. They will also be excited as this will be their first showing on the global arena. Bangladesh will have the boisterous home support, no doubt, but then we all know that playing at home is a double edged sword. There will be enormous pressure on them to at least qualify for the main draw.

Qualifying Group B seems a bit easier as Netherlands is looking rusty. The Ireland and Zimbabwe match will in all probability decide this group’s topper but then it’s easy to slip against any team in this shorter format and they will do well to not get complacent.

The Complete Schedule for the ICC WT20 2014 Qualifying Round is given below:

GroupDateMatch
A 16.03.2014 Bangladesh v Afghanistan
A 16.03.2014 Hong Kong v Nepal
B 17.03.2014 Ireland v Zimbabwe
B 17.03.2014 Netherlands v UAE
A 18.03.2014 Afghanistan v Hong Kong
A 18.03.2014 Bangladesh v Nepal
B 19.03.2014 Netherlands v Zimbabwe
B 19.03.2014 Ireland v UAE
A 20.03.2014 Afghanistan v Nepal
A 20.03.2014 Bangladesh v Hong Kong
B 21.03.2014 Zimbabwe v UAE
B 21.03.2014 Ireland v Netherlands

The main draw starts from the 21st of March when arch rivals India take on Pakistan.

The teams in the main groups are divided as follows:
  • Group 1 – England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Winner from Qualifying Group B.
  • Group 2 – Australia, India, Pakistan, West Indies, Winner from Qualifying Group A.
Both the groups seem well balanced but the Group 2 seems just that tad much tougher. The top 2 teams from each group will advance through to the Semi Finals.

The Schedule for the ICC WT20 2014 Group Stages is as given under:

GroupDateMatch
2 21.03.2014 India v Pakistan
1 22.03.2014 Sri Lanka v South Africa
1 22.03.2014 England v New Zealand
2 23.03.2014 Australia v Pakistan
2 23.03.2014 India v West Indies
1 24.03.2014 New Zealand v South Africa
1 24.03.2014 Sri Lanka v (Qualifier B1)
2 25.03.2014 West Indies v (Qualifier A1)
1 27.03.2014 South Africa v (Qualifier B1)
1 27.03.2014 England v Sri Lanka
2 28.03.2014 Australia v West Indies
2 28.03.2014 India v (Qualifier A1)
1 29.03.2014 New Zealand v (Qualifier B1)
1 29.03.2014 England v South Africa
2 30.03.2014 Pakistan v (Qualifier A1)
2 30.03.2014 Australia v India
1 31.03.2014 England v (Qualifier B1)
1 31.03.2014 New Zealand v Sri Lanka
2 01.04.2014 Australia v (Qualifier A1)
2 01.04.2014 Pakistan v West Indies
Semi-Finals 03.04.2014 Group 1 (1) v Group 2 (2)
Semi-Finals 04.04.2014 Group 2 (1) v Group 1 (2)
Finals 06.04.2014 Winner of Semi-Finals 1 v Winner of Semi Finals 2
Reserved Day 07.04.2014

Note:
  • On days all days when 2 matches are scheduled the first match will start at 3 PM IST and the second match begins at 7 PM IST.
  • On the 21st of March there are 3 matches scheduled with the first one starting at 11 AM IST. The timing of the remaining two matches remains the same as given above.
  • There is only one match scheduled on the 25th of March which will start at 7 PM IST.
  • Both the Semi Finals and the Finals will begin at 6.30 PM IST.
  • All the Group 1 matches will be held at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong while all the Group 2 matches will take place at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. Both the Semi Finals and the Final will also be held at the same venue.
I hope I will be able to cover the WT20 2014 with the same vigor that I covered the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. Stay Tuned, there is a lot more coming up here on the Cricket Wise!!

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