World T20 2014 champions Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will have an extra round to play in the Men’s T20 World Cup 2020, the ICC confirmed on Tuesday (January 1). The 16-team tournament will have the top eight-ranked sides – Pakistan, India, England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Windies and Afghanistan – who will get a direct passage to the Super 12s, while Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will start with the group stage.The group stage will include these two sides and six others who will make it there via World T20 qualifiers. The eight teams will jostle for the four remaining vacant spots in the Super 12s. Lasith Malinga, the Sri Lanka captain, expressed his disappointment at not earning a direct spot in the Super 12s but both he and Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan exuded confidence of making the cut to the next round.
“It is somewhat baffling that we have not possessed the capacity to guarantee an immediate Super 12s compartment however I’m certain that we will do well in the competition. Having played three finals and winning once, it is common that everybody anticipated that us should complete in the best eight yet we need to accept the open door in the additional matches of the gathering stage and plan well for the thump out matches,” Malinga said.
“We have some fine players in the positions and it is just a matter of giving a valiant effort when the time comes. We anticipate difficulties coming our way as we get ready for the enormous occasion.”