Australia will host the 2020 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup between 18 October and 15 November, using an impressive selection of seven venues to bring cricket fans what is expected to be an exciting tournament. What’s more, they will have already hosted the Women’s T20 World Cup, which means the appetite for this format of the sport couldn’t be any greater this year.
Along with Australia as the host nation, the top nine teams in the ICC T20 Rankings by 31 December 2018 qualified automatically for the 2020 World Cup, while the remaining six teams joined them via a series of qualifiers. The draw was made on 29 January 2019, with a First Round comprising eight teams split into two groups. The top two teams from each group will then progress into the Super 12 stage, featuring two groups of six teams.
The top two teams from each group in the Super 12 stage will then progress to the Semi-Finals, each of which is set to be held at Sydney Cricket Ground and the Adelaide Oval. The lucky winners will then go through to the T20 World Cup Final, due to be played at the magnificent Melbourne Cricket Ground, where a capacity crowd of more than 100,000 fans is guaranteed.
Building up to the tournament itself, the competing teams will be putting plenty of emphasis on their preparations over the coming months, fine-tuning their strategies and team selections. As the host nation and also having enjoyed excellent form over the last couple of years, particularly in their winning encounters with Pakistan and Sri Lanka towards the end of 2019, Australia are tipped as 11/4 favourites in the cricket betting to win the T20 World Cup in 2020.
Nevertheless, the hosts will undoubtedly face a very difficult challenge, if they’re to fulfill ambitions of winning this prestigious tournament on home soil. As the second-favourites at 7/2 odds, India recently gave a strong indication regarding what we can expect from them at the T20 World Cup. During their January tour of New Zealand, they won all five of their T20 games against the Kiwis.
Having won the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup as the hosts last year in the ODI format, England can obviously never be ruled out as potential winning candidates in the faster-paced T20 format of the game. They are priced at 9/2 odds with the leading bookmakers, which reflects their capacity to perform well on the tournament stage, even if tour results have been somewhat mixed over the last few years. England were also the beaten finalists in 2016, losing by just 4 wickets against the West Indies.
West Indies are the 2016 T20 Champions! pic.twitter.com/nlDAxB8a1o
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) April 3, 2016
Interestingly, while South Africa at 13/2 and New Zealand at 7/1 are considered to be genuine contenders, the West Indies are thought to be outsiders for the tournament this year, mostly due to disappointing form since winning the 2016 T20 World Cup. Nevertheless, the Windies should never be taken lightly as the reigning champions, and they are the only side to have won the tournament twice, achieving their first T20 World Cup triumph in 2012 against host nation Sri Lanka in the final.
The great thing about T20 cricket is the pace of the game and the sense of urgency, which isn’t always present in other formats. This means there’s always plenty of scope for surprise results and as previous editions of the tournament have shown, every chance of lesser fancied teams causing upsets by enjoying a strong campaign. Whatever happens this year, it’s sure to be another thrilling T20 World Cup for fans of the format to enjoy.