ICC T20 World Cup Preview & Favourites

The ninth edition of the ICC T20 Men’s World Cup is almost upon us, promising one of the most exciting tournaments yet. The competition will take place from June 1 to June 29 and be co-hosted by the West Indies and the USA. It will be the first time that an ICC World Cup match will be held in the USA.

There will be 20 teams vying for the trophy this time around, 4 more than the last T20 World Cup which featured 16 teams. Co-hosts West Indies and the USA qualified automatically for the tournament, as did all the ICC full members. Afghanistan and Sri Lanka qualified by being the next two highest-placed nations in the T20 rankings and the remaining places were filled by other ICC members via the T20 World Cup Qualifiers.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup in 2024
GK Images / Alamy Stock Photo

The Europe Qualifier saw Scotland and Ireland make it through to the competition, while Papua New Guinea progressed from the East Asian-Pacific Qualifier. Canada came out on top in the Americas Qualifier, Nepal and Oman advanced from the Asia Qualifier, and Namibia and Uganda are through from the Africa Qualifier.

The 20 teams will compete in a group stage which features groups of 5. Each team will play a minimum of four matches against the other teams in their group and the top 2 teams will advance to the Super 8 stage.

The Super 8s will take place in the Caribbean and will see the remaining 8 teams split into two groups. They will play three matches against the other teams in their group and the top two teams of each group will qualify for the semi-finals.

The winner of each semi-final will meet in the final which will be held in Barbados on June 29.

Groups

The 20 competing teams are split up into 4 groups of which consists of five teams each:

Group A: India, Pakistan, USA, Ireland, Canada

Group B: England, Australia, Namibia, Scotland, Oman

Group C: West Indies, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Uganda, Papua New Guinea

Group D: South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Netherlands, Nepal

Venues

A total of nine venues will be used in the tournament, six in the West Indies and three in the USA.

West Indies

β€’ Daren Sammy Cricket Ground – Gros Islet, Saint Lucia

β€’ Arnos Vale Ground – Kingstown, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines

β€’ Brian Lara Cricket Academy – San Fernando, Trinidad & Tobago

β€’ Sir Vivian Richards Stadium – North Sound, Antigua & Barbuda

β€’ Kensington Oval – Bridgetown, Barbados

β€’ Guyana National Stadium – Georgetown, Guyana

USA

β€’ Central Broward Park & Broward County Stadium – Lauderhill, Florida

β€’ Nassau County International Cricket Stadium – Long Island, New York

β€’ Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium – Dallas, Texas

The Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Trinidad & Tobago and Guyana National Stadium in Guyana will host one semi-final each and the final will be played at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

Favourites

England come into the tournament the defending champions after their triumphant campaign in Australia 2 years ago but will face some stiff competition this time around.

India have shown they are one of the favourites this year, after a competitive domestic IPL tournament which just finished earlier this week. The team will feature a good balance of experience and youth, with the likes of Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah available to guide the team.

In the past, India have faltered in the backend of the T20 World Cup tournaments with their only win coming back in 2007. They will be hungry to bring home a championship however after their recent loss in the Final of the one-day World Cup last year.

Australia, as always, are a threat to take home yet another title with their explosive lineup. They’ll enter with a formidable bowling lineup which includes paceman Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. They will also have batsmen like Travis Head, Glenn Maxwell and Mitchell Marsh who have the potential to be a match-winner on any given day.

Don’t rule out the home team either, as the West Indies could pose a big threat to any team in their best format of the game. Some other teams to look out for include Pakistan, South Africa and Sri Lanka, who all bring talented squads with plenty of big names.