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From Japan to Italy to UAE: Teams to Watch for T20 World Cup 2026

Sri Lanka and India Secure Host Spots; Regional Qualifiers to Determine Final Teams

T20 World Cup 2026 to Take Place in India and Sri Lanka: Qualification Details Released

Dubai [UAE], July 2 — As the world continues to marvel at the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, featuring 20 teams across the USA and the West Indies, anticipation is already building for the next edition of the tournament. The 2026 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is set to take place in India and Sri Lanka, promising another exhilarating event. The tournament will follow the familiar 55-match format, with teams divided into four groups of five, leading to two Super Eights groups, and culminating in semi-finals and a final to determine the next world champion, according to the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Before the excitement of the 2026 tournament begins, the final lineup of the participating teams needs to be determined. As hosts, Sri Lanka and India have secured their automatic spots for the 2026 World Cup. The remaining 10 spots will be filled based on the outcomes of the Super Eight stage from the 2024 tournament, alongside the ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings as of June 30, which served as the cutoff date for qualification.

From their impressive performances in the initial rounds and progression to the Super Eights of the current World Cup, six teams have already secured their places in the 2026 tournament. These teams are Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, South Africa, and the West Indies. Additionally, the USA earned a spot by winning a dramatic Super Over against Pakistan to advance from the Second Round of Group A.

Pakistan, despite not advancing to the Super Eights, has secured a place in the 2026 World Cup thanks to their T20I ranking (7th). New Zealand (6th) and Ireland (11th) also qualified based on their rankings. The final eight teams for the 2026 edition will be determined through regional qualifiers, following a process similar to the 2024 qualification.

Regional Qualifying Spots: Two

The African qualification process is expected to be highly competitive. In the previous cycle, Uganda achieved a notable upset by surpassing regional powerhouses Zimbabwe, setting the stage for a fiercely contested qualification round. Uganda and Namibia, who did not advance past the Super Eights in the 2024 T20 World Cup, will return to the regional qualifiers. Zimbabwe will also compete for one of the two spots. Other strong contenders include Nigeria, Tanzania, and a rejuvenated Kenyan team, all of which will vie for the final places.

Regional Qualifying Spot: One

In the Americas region, the USA will automatically qualify for the 2026 World Cup due to their host status in the 2024 tournament. This exemption gives other teams in the region one fewer competitor to worry about. Canada, who secured the 2024 spot by narrowly edging Bermuda on Net Run Rate, are favorites to claim the spot again. Bermuda, undergoing a rebuilding phase following the retirement of key players such as Kamau Leverock, will need to contend with other emerging teams such as the Cayman Islands, Argentina, and Panama.

Regional Qualifying Spots: Two

Asia’s qualification process for the 2026 World Cup will be one of the most challenging. Nepal and Oman, who have qualified directly for the regional final due to their performance in the 2024 T20 World Cup, will face stiff competition from other teams. Oman, with an aging squad, faces a tough challenge from a revitalized UAE team. Other teams to watch include Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar, who are all poised to make an impact. Additionally, Hong Kong and Malaysia are strong contenders from other parts of the region, adding to the competitive nature of the qualifiers.

East Asia-Pacific
Regional Qualifying Spot: One

In the East Asia-Pacific region, Papua New Guinea (PNG) is currently in a strong position to secure the 2026 spot, despite a winless campaign in the 2024 T20 World Cup. Japan, having finished second in the last regional final, is a significant threat to PNG’s dominance. Japan will need to navigate their sub-regional group, facing competition from Indonesia, the Philippines, and South Korea. Meanwhile, Vanuatu, who topped another sub-regional qualifier, must overcome challengers Samoa, Fiji, and the Cook Islands to secure their place.

Regional Qualifying Spots: Two

In Europe, Ireland will avoid the tough qualification process for the 2026 T20 World Cup thanks to their ranking. Scotland and The Netherlands are anticipated to be strong contenders for the two European spots in the regional final. With 21 teams still in contention for the spots in the region, the competition will be intense. Italy has already secured a spot in the regional final by winning Sub-regional Qualifier A. Jersey and Germany are leading teams from Group B, while Denmark, Spain, and Guernsey are competing in Qualifier C for the remaining spots.

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