Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Will Pakistan Has to Play Qualifiers for T20 World Cup 2026?

Pakistan cricket faces an uncertain path to the 2026 T20 World Cup following their disappointing exit from the 2024 tournament. Their campaign ended abruptly, beginning with a crushing Super Over loss to co-hosts USA, followed by a narrow six-run defeat to India. This left Pakistan reliant on other teams’ results to advance to the Super Eight stage.

Their hopes were dashed when the USA v Ireland match in Florida was rained out, resulting in Pakistan’s elimination. This failure is considered a significant setback for Pakistan cricket, particularly as they had heavily invested in the T20 format.

As for the 2026 T20 World Cup qualification, the eight teams that advance to the Super Eight stage in 2024 automatically qualify for the next tournament. Currently, Australia, South Africa, India, West Indies, Afghanistan, and the USA have secured their spots. With Sri Lanka automatically qualifying as co-hosts, nine positions are already taken.

A total of 12 teams will gain direct entry into the 2026 T20 World Cup: the eight Super Eight teams, the co-hosts, and the top three ranked teams outside of these groups. At present, Pakistan appears to be in a safe position, ranked seventh in the ICC rankings. New Zealand, also out of the Super Eight, ranks just above them, likely securing two of the three remaining automatic spots.

RankingsTeamRating Points
1India265
2Australia259
3West Indies254
4England254
5South Africa247
6New Zealand247
7Pakistan241
8Sri Lanka230
9Bangladesh226
10Afghanistan220
11Ireland195
12Scotland192
13Zimbabwe192

The only risk to Pakistan’s direct qualification arises if England fails to make the Super Eight, Bangladesh misses out but improves their ranking, and Pakistan loses to Ireland in their final group match on Sunday. This unlikely scenario could force Pakistan to play qualifiers.

However, if England qualifies for the Super Eight stage, Pakistan’s qualification for the 2026 World Cup should be straightforward. Victory over Ireland on Sunday would also solidify Pakistan’s spot, reducing the chances of needing to play in the qualifiers.

As it stands, England’s qualification fate will be decided today, which could further clarify Pakistan’s path to the next T20 World Cup.

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