The World Twenty20 begins in India this week and Scotland and Ireland are amongst eight teams hoping to qualify for the main stage of the competition.
Scotland begins their campaign with a match against Afghanistan while Ireland begins by taking on Oman. The winners of each of the two groups will then be given a place in the Super 20 phase which begins on 15th March.
The entire competition consists of 58 matches taking place in eight venues over four weeks. It is the sixth such tournament to take place since its inception nine years ago.
England won the competition in 2010 and has been drawn in the same group as defending champions Sri Lanker as well as 2012 winners West Indies and South Africa who are second in the International Cricket Council T20 rankings. England and Sri Lanka will play their first match in Mumbai on 16th March.
— Cricketopia.com (@Cricketopia) March 10, 2016
Australia is hoping to win a fourth consecutive title in the women’s competition which begins on 15th March and features ten teams. England’s women’s team, who won the first Women’s World T20 in 2009, are in a group containing India, West Indies, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The women’s final will take place on 3rd April.
While the opening stages feature the lower ranked teams there are still some highlights to watch out for. Ryan Campbell will be playing for Hong Kong at the age of 44. The player is credited with being the first to use the ‘scoop’ shot which was then made famous by Sri Lanka’s Rillakaratne Dilshan and has since become commonplace.
Furthermore, Afghanistan’s coach is a notoriously controversial figure. Inzamam-ul-Haq is considered one of the greatest batsmen in Pakistan cricket history; however, he is also famous for his dodgy running between the wickets. He also once tried to fight a spectator during an ODI and refused to bring his side back on pitch after they were accused of ball-tampering against England.