A total of 16 teams will vie for the top honours in 45 matches of the eighth edition of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup across seven Australian cities between October 16 and November 13.
Whether it be Yuvraj Singh’s six sixes, Carlos Brathwaite’s last-over heroics, or Shaheen Afridi’s new-ball fireworks, T20 World Cups have delivered drama in spades and the 2022 edition is set to outdo them all.
Here is a look at the fixtures, squads and venues and everything you need to know about the mega event.
Namibia, Netherlands, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates
Ireland, Scotland, West Indies, Zimbabwe
Afghanistan, Australia, England, New Zealand, Group A winner, Group B runner-up
Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Group B winner, Group A runner-up
Seven venues across Australia will be used with the Melbourne Cricket Ground hosting the final and the semi-finals set to be played at Adelaide Oval and the Sydney Cricket Ground. The Gabba in Brisbane, Kardinia Park in Geelong, Bellerive Oval in Hobart and Perth Stadium are the other host venues.
An experienced squad will be looking to punch above their weight, spearheaded as ever by the brilliant Rashid Khan. The star spinner is arguably the world’s most dangerous T20 bowler and will be supported by the likes of Mujeeb Ur Rahman to set up Afghanistan with a chance of making a deep run in the tournament.
The reigning champions, Australia will look to make the most of home conditions to defend their crown. A powerful batting line-up and a stellar bowling attack make them one of the favourites after what was a somewhat unexpected win in 2021.
The Tigers have moved on from some senior players in favour of an aggressive strategy based on multiple all-rounders. A dismal showing in the Asia Cup prompted the change of approach, which makes Bangladesh dangerously unpredictable.
Ranked second in the Team Rankings coming into the tournament, England have been a consistent force in white-ball cricket for some years. Much will rely on the form of their deep batting line-up, with some doubts over the quality of the bowling attack in the absence of the injured Jofra Archer.
The world’s top-ranked side will be looking for a much better showing than their group-stage elimination in 2021, and have brought a talent-packed squad to Australia. The withdrawal of experienced pacer Jasprit Bumrah through injury is a blow but India will be confident that they have the depth to cover the absence of the star pace bowler.
The Irish stuttered at the 2021 tournament, never really clicking into gear with the bat. But there’s plenty of talent in the Ireland squad and they are in with a strong chance of progressing to the Super 12 stage.
Namibia’s big-hitting batting line-up upset the odds last year to reach the Super 12 stage, and they will be looking to star players David Wiese, Ruben Trumpelmann and Gerhard Erasmus to spearhead another successful First Round campaign.
The Dutch have had plenty of big-game experience in the build-up to the tournament, hosting a number of Full Member opponents in white-ball tours over the European summer. Netherlands are the lowest-ranked side in the Team Rankings competing in Australia, and will need to turn it on in pivotal First Round clashes with Namibia and the UAE for a chance to progress to the Super 12 stage.
The highest-ranked opening partnership in T20Is will hope to get Pakistan up to consistently competitive scores, with Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan entering the tournament in fine form. Pakistan also have one of the strongest bowling attacks in the world, setting up the fourth-ranked side in Team Rankings to be a match for any opponent.
A huge opening game against West Indies in Hobart could set the tone for a Scotland side ranked 15th in the world, the second-lowest at the tournament (higher only than the Netherlands). Opening pair George Munsey and Calum MacLeod, and Matthew Cross at first drop, will be crucial to giving Scotland strong starts if they are to build or chase competitive totals.
Bowling is South Africa’s strength, with Kagiso Rabada, Lungo Ngidi and Anrich Nortje forming an imposing seam-bowling core of the attack. Underrated spin options and plenty of power in the batting ranks have also propelled the Proteas to third in the Team Rankings, and they will be among the favourites to finally end that World Cup hoodoo.
Just as they did in 2021, Sri Lanka will begin the tournament in the First Round and with their work cut out to qualify for the Super 12 stage. But victory in the Asia Cup underlined the rapid improvement of the squad and suggests Sri Lanka could be a dark horse if they progress.
United Arab Emirates
Featuring in just their second ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, UAE reached the tournament courtesy of a superb showing at the Global Qualifier A. The UAE beat Ireland in the final of that tournament but now face a tricky group against Sri Lanka, Namibia and the Netherlands as they look to prove their worth on the big stage.
A new-look West Indies squad will be hoping for a fresh start under the guidance of skipper Nicholas Pooran after the star-studded but ageing group of players who travelled to the 2021 tournament flattered to deceive. Spinner Akeal Hosein will be crucial to the West Indies’ chances of stretching their record number of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup titles to three, but quicks like Obed McCoy, Jason Holder and Sheldon Cottrell will also need to impress.
A threatening bowling attack will look to upset the odds for Zimbabwe and help them through to the Super 12 stage. It was the bowlers who got Zimbabwe to the T20 World Cup, dismissing Netherlands for just 95 in the final of the Global Qualifier B, and they have the talent to trouble all of their First Round opponents.
Where to watch
The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia will be televised and live-streamed across continents with the Star Network, Sky Sports, Fox Sports, ESPN, PTV and Times Internet among the major broadcasters. Star Network will have television rights in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Maldives, while Hotstar and Disney+ will also stream the games in India.
This year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup takes place in three stages. The First Round sees two groups of four teams participating in a round-robin. The top two teams from each group progress to the Super 12 stage.
The eight nations competing in the First Round consist of the four lowest-ranked nations to have automatically qualified for the tournament at the cut-off point – Namibia, Scotland, Sri Lanka and West Indies. They will be joined by two teams from each of the Qualifier tournaments held in 2022. Ireland and UAE progressed in Qualifier A in Oman back in February, with Netherlands and Zimbabwe triumphing in Qualifier B in Zimbabwe in July.
The top team from Group A and the second team from Group B enter Group 1 of the Super 12s, with the top finishers in Group B and the second-placed side from Group A going into Group 2. The Super 12 stage sees two groups of six play a round-robin, with the top two teams from each group progressing to the knock-out stage.
The knock-out stage consists of two Semifinals and the Final at the MCG on November 13.
The prize money remains the same as at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 and all 16 competing teams will receive part of the $US5.6m allocated as prize money for the tournament.
The champions will collect $1.6m, with the runners-up taking home $800,000. Both losing semifinalists will bag $400,000.
(With inputs from ICC)