Asianet NewsableAsianet Newsable
breaking news image

Pakistan and New Zealand set for direct qualification for 2026 T20 World Cup despite early exits

Shoaib Akhtar recently raised concerns about Pakistan's need to qualify for the next T20 World Cup through qualifiers. However, it appears that both Pakistan and New Zealand are poised for direct qualification for the 2026 T20 World Cup, despite their early exits in the ongoing tournament. This assurance comes as a relief following the teams' performances and current ICC T20I rankings.

Pakistan and New Zealand set for direct qualification for 2026 T20 World Cup despite early exits osf
First Published Jun 15, 2024, 10:25 PM IST

Shoaib Akhtar recently stirred controversy in Pakistan by suggesting the national team might need to go through qualifiers for the next T20 World Cup. However, the situation isn't as dire as initially thought. Even if their final match against Ireland in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, is washed out on Monday, Pakistan can still directly qualify for the 2026 edition. India and Sri Lanka are co-hosts of that World Cup.

According to qualifying rules, 12 of the 20 teams will receive automatic entry. As hosts, India and Sri Lanka will be the first two teams to qualify directly, along with all Super 8 teams. India, having already qualified for the Super 8s from Group A in the 2024 T20 World Cup, meet the criteria under two conditions. Other teams that have made the Super 8 cut and earned direct entry into the 2026 edition include South Africa (Group D), West Indies and Afghanistan (Group C), Australia (Group B), and the USA (Group A).

Bangladesh or the Netherlands will advance to the next round from Group D, while Scotland and England are vying for a Super 8 spot from Group B. Including Sri Lanka, there will be nine teams, with three more to be decided based on the highest-ranked teams per the ICC Men's T20I rankings as of June 30, 2024.

Pakistan currently ranks seventh with 241 rating points in the latest T20I rankings, while New Zealand, also exiting early, ranks sixth with 247 points. These two sides are well ahead of teams like Bangladesh (9th with 226 points), Ireland (11th with 195 points), Scotland (12th with 192 points), Zimbabwe (13th with 192 points), Namibia (14th with 189 points), Netherlands (15th with 185 points), UAE (16th with 176 points), Nepal (18th with 170 points), Oman (19th with 163 points), PNG (20th with 145 points), Uganda (21st with 135 points), Hong Kong (22nd with 135 points), and Canada (23rd with 129 points).

The remaining eight teams will be determined through the ICC's regional qualification pathway. Two teams each will come from Europe, Asia, and Africa, with one each from the East Asia Pacific and Americas regions.

The eight teams that qualified through regional pathways for this edition were Ireland and Scotland (Europe), Nepal and Oman (Asia), Namibia and Uganda (Africa), Canada (Americas), and Papua New Guinea (East Asia Pacific). The USA gained entry by virtue of being co-hosts.

Latif Defends Pakistan, Blames ICC

Meanwhile, Pakistan's failure to qualify for the Super 8s has drawn criticism, but Rashid Latif blamed the conditions for the team's poor performance in the World Cup.

"You can't blame the Pakistan players for everything. They fought well, but their efforts were hampered by the pitch conditions. They should have won both the US and India games, but the conditions were beyond their control. It can happen; runs have been difficult to come by. Even a batsman like Virat Kohli is struggling," Latif said in a chat with Cricbuzz.

Latif criticised the ICC, stating that if teams like Pakistan don't make it to the Super 8s, the world body should take responsibility. He further pointed out that the poor conditions are prevalent not only in the US but also in the Caribbean.

"Individual half-centuries are rare. No team has scored a half-century against teams like Afghanistan. When a batsman scores a half-century, the team usually wins. Rishabh Pant made 42 and India beat Pakistan. The conditions are not ideal for the World Cup," Latif added.

Also Read: PCB to enforce Two-NOC Policy, restricting Pakistan players participation in overseas T20 Leagues: Report

Latest Videos
Follow Us:
Download App:
  • android
  • ios