Friday, June 14, 2024

ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 – Get to know the associate nations

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Photo Credit: ICC

USA

Co-hosts USA make their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup debut in 2024, with an opening match against rivals Canada in Texas the perfect way to make their bow.

They played their first T20I against the UAE five years ago and earned their maiden victories against the Cayman Islands later that year.

A first win against a Test nation came with victory over Ireland in 2021, something they will look to repeat in the World Cup group stage when they meet in Lauderhill on June 14.

One to Watch: Batter Aaron Jones will again form the bedrock of the batting line-up. The New Yorker boasts an ODI high score of 123* and will be key to American fortunes.

Canada

Canada are set for their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup debut in 2024 but they are no strangers to the global stage having appeared at four ICC Men’s Cricket World Cups, most recently in 2011.

They have never been beyond the group stage but will be determined to spring a surprise and do so this time around on North American soil after booking their place with victory in the Americas Qualifier.

An opening match against the USA, the oldest rivalry in cricket, is an enticing start before taking on Ireland, where they will hope for a similar result to their most recent meeting in 2019, when Canada won by 10 runs.

One to Watch: All-rounder Harsh Thaker has the ability to win matches for Canada with bat or ball in hand. The 26-year-old has impressed in both limited overs formats in the past year and will be determined to step up to the plate this summer.

Namibia

Namibia return for their third-consecutive appearance at an ICC Men’s T20 World Cup after cruising through the Africa Qualifier with a perfect record.

The Eagles reached the Super 12 on T20 World Cup debut in 2021 thanks to victories over Netherlands and Ireland before narrowly missing out on reaching the same stage in 2022 despite defeating Sri Lanka.

Their chances of progressing out of the group on this occasion will depend in large part on how they fare in their first-ever T20 internationals with England and Australia.

One to Watch: Captain Gerhard Erasmus is the man that makes Namibia tick. The all-rounder made his international debut aged 16 in 2011 and has been influential ever since, with the 2022 ICC Associate Cricketer of the Year set to lead from the front for his side this summer.

Scotland

Scotland make their fourth straight appearance at an ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and will have eyes on reaching the knockout stages after impressing in qualification.

Scotland edged out Test nation and neighbours Ireland to earn top spot in European qualifying, a feat that will give them plenty of confidence for their chances across the Atlantic.

An opening match against the Auld Enemy England is a mouth-watering prospect, and one Scotland will be hoping to set out their stall in as they look to match their 2021 achievement of progressing from the group stage.

One to Watch: Bowler Brad Currie could be a match winner for Scotland, with the 25-year-old starring in qualification. Currie posted figures of five for 13 in the final against Ireland, the best-ever T20I bowling figures from a Scot, and will hope to take that form into the summer.

Oman

Oman return to the biggest stage in men’s T20 cricket after missing out in 2022 and will be determined to make up for lost time.

They ensured their place at the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup with victory in the Asia Qualifier, defeating Bahrain in the semi-final to book their ticket before taking home the trophy with a dramatic super over victory against Nepal.

Oman have never been beyond the group stages of a men’s World Cup and will hope to put that right in 2024, with confidence boosted by two recent wins over group stage opponents Namibia.

One to Watch: Captain Aqib Ilyas will look to hold the side together through his work with bat and ball. The 31-year-old, who was named Player of the Series in the Asia Qualifier, is one of the most experienced members of the squad and will lean on all of that in the USA and the Caribbean.

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea are back for only their second ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and will be determined to better their showing in 2021, when they ended winless.

There have been positive strides forward since then, including comfortable qualification via victory in the East Asia-Pacific Qualifier, as well as regular victories over other Associate Member nations.

The key will be whether this side can make the step up and earn a victory over a Test nation, with three in Group C, something Papua New Guinea have never done before.

One to Watch: No man has scored more T20I runs for Papua New Guinea than Tony Ura, and the 34-year-old will hope to pile on some more this summer.

Ura was part of PNG’s first-ever T20I squad in 2015 and has been integral ever since, top-scoring against both Japan and Philippines in qualification.

Uganda

Uganda make their World Cup debut in the USA and Caribbean after finishing second in the Africa Qualifier behind Namibia.

The Cricket Cranes pulled off a memorable victory over a Test nation with a win over Zimbabwe in qualifying, and will look to match that feat with West Indies and New Zealand lying in wait in Group C.

Qualification sparked jubilant scenes as Uganda as they succeeded at reaching the final tournament at the ninth-attempt, and they will hope to make their mark once there after being made to wait for so long.

One to Watch: Riazat Ali Shah was the star of Uganda’s victory over Zimbabwe, and the all-rounder will be determined to find that form again in the summer.

Shah scored 42 off 28 balls against Zimbabwe, and his quick hitting in the middle order – as well as his effective medium pace – will be key to Ugandan success.

Netherlands

Netherlands are no stranger to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and will look to make it back-to-back progressions from the group stage in 2024.

The Dutch reached the Super 12s in 2022 before bowing out and will have aims of making it to the Super 8s this time around.

Their performance two years ago booked their spot at the 2024 edition and their tournament included a famous win over South Africa in Adelaide. They will hope for a repeat result when they meet again in Group D, which also features Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.

One to Watch: Big hitting Max O’Dowd will hope to continue to lead from the front for the Netherlands, with the opening batter key to their chances. O’Dowd is the top T20I run scorer in Dutch history and will be determined to extend that record in the summer.

Nepal

Nepal are set for their first ICC Men’s T20 World Cup appearance in a decade after booking their ticket to USA and the Caribbean with a runners-up place in the Asia Qualifier.

The Rhinos pushed winners Oman all the way to a super over in Kirtipur and will take plenty of heart from their impressive performances, which also included a victory over the UAE in the semi-final.

Their last World Cup appearance in 2014 ended in a narrow exit at the first stage despite winning two of their three games, and Nepal will be determined to hang around a little longer 10 years on.

One to Watch: Rohit Paudel has been key to recent Nepalese success and will continue to be so during the summer. The captain is just 21-years-old but is the lynchpin of the side and his runs will be crucial.

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