The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.
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All to know about the T20 World Cup 2024

The United States and the West Indies are set to host 20 teams in the ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2024 from 1 to 29. The tournament has been expanded to include 20 teams for the first time, up from 16 teams in the 2022 edition. The top eight teams from the previous edition and the two host nations, USA and West Indies, earned direct entry. Afghanistan and Bangladesh qualified on the basis of their ICC T20 rankings on the cut-off date in November 2022. The remaining six teams emerged from regional qualification tournaments that took place last year across the Americas, Africa, Asia, Asia Pacific and Europe. USA, Papua New Guinea and Uganda will make their debut at an ICC World Cup. The ICC has not confirmed the official line-up of the opening ceremony ahead of the first match between USA and Canada on June 1 at 7:30 pm local time (00:30 GMT) in Dallas. However, there has been widespread promotion for a pre-match event on June 2, when co-hosts West Indies play Papua New Guinea in Guyana at 10:30 am local time (14:30 GMT). The tournament will be divided into two group-based rounds and a knockout round that will commence with the semifinals. The 20 teams will be divided into four groups and following the round-robin matches, the top two teams from each group will advance to the Super Eight The four teams in each group will play against each other once in the Super Eight phase. The top two teams from each group will advance to the semifinals. The group stage will happen between, June 1 to 17 the Super Eight between June 18 to 25, the Semifinals will take place between June 26 and 27, and the final will be on June 29. Based on the tournament schedule, India, Pakistan, Ireland, USA and Canada teams are in Group A, Australia, England, Namibia, Scotland and Oman teams are in Group B, Afghanistan, New Zealand, West Indies, Papua New Guinea and Uganda teams are in Group C, while Bangladesh, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Netherlands teams are in Group D In the tournament, there are eight Super Groups. The teams that are favorites to win the T20 World Cup are India, Australia, England, West Indies and Pakistan. The tournament will be played at nine venues – three in the U.S. and six across the West Indies. New York, Texas and Florida will play host to the 16 matches being played in the U.S., with New York bagging half of those, including the marquee India vs Pakistan clash, while the six Caribbean nations that will host 39 matches are Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Trinidad and Tobago. India, Pakistan, England, West Indies, Sri Lanka and Australia are the previous winners of the T20 World Cup from 2007 to 2022. Afghanistan has never been the winner and there are hopes that it reaches the final. For the Afghanistan team, Rashid Khan is the captain of his team. Afghanistan will have a match with Uganda on June 4, New Zealand on June 8, Papua New Guinea on June 14 and West Indies on June 18. Afghanistan entered the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 as one of the dark horses poised to cause an upset and put their fearless brand of cricket on show, according to their former coach Stuart Law. The 2010 debutants have reached the Super Eight stage in each of the last three editions of the tournament – steady progress from the first-round exits in their first three attempts. Law believes Afghanistan is not far from reaching the knockouts and it could happen in the 2024 edition of the tournament in the United States and the West Indies this month. Most former couches of the Afghanistan cricket team have shared their positive views about the Afghan team. They love the way the Afghan players play their cricket as there is no fear in the way they go about it. They believe that the Afghan players are always aggressive, which is good. The Afghan teams performed well in matches held in India where they finished sixth, by the barest of margins, behind Pakistan and failed to qualify for the semifinals despite an inspired run in the second half of the round-robin stage. After only three appearances at the Cricket World Cup, Afghanistan finished ahead of former champions England and Sri Lanka. This time around, they open their tournament campaign on June 4 against debutants Uganda, in a group that also includes New Zealand, co-hosts West Indies and Papa New Guinea. Cricket experts believe that the side led by Rashid Khan are ready to do more than just cause the odd upset, saying that the Afghan boys are strong and powerful and all naturally gifted and have got stature as well. It is worth mentioning that Afghanistan has one of the strongest bowling line-ups, with top limited-overs spinners Rashid, Mujeeb ur Rahman and Noor Ahmad in the side, along with the richly experienced all-rounder Mohammad Nabi. Besides, Ibrahim Zadran is also known as one of the nicest players to watch. Moreover, Rahmatullah Gurbaz has the capability to support Zadran at the top of the batting order. Captain Rashid himself is a destructive middle-order batter and has helped post near-matchwinning targets on several occasions. Rashid, Nabi and the other “big boys” will have to dig a bit deeper to make a push for the knockouts. There are hopes that the Afghanistan Cricket Team will reach the Semifinals as all members of the team are well-prepared for the tournament. Mukhtar Safi

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.