ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021: Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands and Namibia play in Group A | Cricket News
Ireland can host a Super 12 showdown with England in the 2021 ICC T20 Men’s World Cup – but only if they win Group A in the first leg of the competition.
Andrew Balbirnie’s squad take on Sri Lanka, the Netherlands and Namibia – featured below by © Trading Company ICC FZ LLC 2020 – in the first round of the tournament.
Only the top two teams will advance from the group to the Super 12 stage after the four have met once in the round robin format, starting with the opening matches on Sunday.
Oman v Papua NG
October 17, 2021, 10:30 a.m.
Namibia will make history after qualifying for the tournament for the first time, having advanced to the 2019 ICC T20 World Cup qualifiers with a victory over Oman.
Ireland and the Netherlands also secured their places for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup via the same route as the 2014 champions Sri Lanka qualified through their world rankings.
The seeds of Group A will enter Group 1 of the Super 12 stage with Australia, England, South Africa, the West Indies and the second seed of Group B.
Meanwhile, the second team from Group A enters Group 2 with Afghanistan, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and Group B seeds after the first round of matches.
Bangladesh vs Scotland
October 17, 2021, 2:30 p.m.
Sri Lanka (seventh appearance)
Favorites on paper to progress as Group A seed, Sri Lanka have been inextricably linked with the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup since it premiered in 2007.
They have played every tournament since then, finishing second in 2009 and 2012 before finally lifting the trophy with a victory over India in the 2014 final.
Dasun Shanaka (captain), Kusal Perera, Dinesh Chandimal, Dhananjaya de Silva, Pathum Nissanka, Charith Asalanka, Avishka Fernando, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Chamika Karunaratne, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera, Lahiru Kumhana, Fernando Mahejas Dananan
Apart from the top eight in the MRF Tires ICC Men’s T20I team ranking at the deadline and currently ranked 10th, their form before the 2021 edition has been high and low to say the least.
A historic 2-1 series win over India in July this year was also marked by a 3-0 series wash over England in their own backyard and the Proteas in South Africa.
But no team has won more T20 World Cup matches than Sri Lanka, and their experience – along with a talented squad – makes them prime candidates to reach the Super 12 stadium.
Commanded by Dasun Shanaka, Avishka Fernando, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dushmantha Chameera and Maheesh Theekshana are all potential winners of the game for Sri Lanka that day.
They will open their campaign against debutants Namibia on October 18 in Abu Dhabi before a potentially decisive encounter two days later with Ireland, ranked two places lower in 12th place.
Sri Lanka concluded their Group A matches on October 22 with a clash in Sharjah against the Netherlands, which they beat by nine wickets en route to claim the 2014 title.
Ireland (sixth appearance)
Since missing the inaugural tournament in 2007, Ireland have regularly competed in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and will play their sixth in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
Their best performance to date dates back to their debut in the 2009 edition hosted by England, advancing in the first round to reach the Super 8 after beating Bangladesh.
Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young. Reserves: Shane Getkate, Graham Kennedy, Barry McCarthy
Ireland have not progressed beyond the first round in their last four appearances, missing the net winning rate in 2014 after group stage wins over Zimbabwe and the United Arab Emirates.
But as their victory over Bangladesh in 2009 shows, they’ve had a penchant for beating teams higher than themselves in major tournaments over the years.
Pakistan, England, the West Indies and Zimbabwe all fell to Ireland in the 50-side Cricket World Cup and they will certainly want to advance in Group A.
They booked their spot at this year’s tournament by finishing first in their group in the 2019 playoffs on net run rate despite dropping games against Canada and the United Arab Emirates in the process.
A series win over Zimbabwe earlier this year will certainly have cheered captain Andrew Balbirnie ahead of his side’s opener against the Netherlands on October 18.
With Paul Stirling, Kevin O’Brien and rising star Josh Little in their ranks, the world No.12 ranked team have the experience and talent to cause more upheaval.
Netherlands (fourth appearance)
The Dutch showed their pedigree in the shortest format by winning qualifiers for the 2019 ICC T20 World Cup, beating Papua New Guinea by seven wickets in the final in Dubai.
The Netherlands had already secured their qualification by reaching the semi-finals, where they beat Ireland by 21 points to score their rivals in Group A.
Pieter Seelaar (captain), Colin Ackermann, Philippe Boissevain, Ben Cooper, Bas de Leede, Scott Edwards, Brandon Glover, Fred Klaassen, Stephan Myburgh, Max O’Dowd, Ryan ten Doeschate, Logan van Beek, Timm van der Gugten, Roelof van der Merwe, Paul van Meekeren. Reserves: Shane Snater, Tobias Visee
In fact, the Netherlands have won seven of their 12 T20Is against Ireland and topped their recent ODI series, meaning they will also be aiming for a place in the Super 12 stage.
Their team is packed with experience, with Ryan ten Doeschate and Roelof van der Merwe two of the names expected to play a leading role in the intermediaries.
Another player who will be able to provide a lot of know-how is Stephan Myburgh, with the 37-year-old scoring 280 points with an average of 31.11 in his previous T20 World Cups.
Another dangerous weapon comes in the form of the large, fast launcher Paul van Meekeren, which can hit 140 km / h and has a slower bullet that could cause a lot of problems.
This is the fourth time the Dutch have qualified for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, making their debut in 2009 when they knocked out England at Lord’s in a last-ball thriller.
But their best performance in the tournament came five years later, leading Group B to reach the Super 10 stage where they notched another famous victory over England.
Namibia (first appearance)
The lowest-ranked team in the tournament in 19th place, Namibia are making their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup debut this year and will be considered an underdog to move up from Group A.
Still, their journey to the flagship event has shown they don’t give up without a fight, securing their first appearance with five straight wins after losses to the Netherlands and PNG.
Gerhard Erasmus (captain), Stephen Baard, Karl Birkenstock. Michau du Preez, Jan Frylinck, Zane Green, Nicol Lofie-Eaton, Bernard Scholtz, Ben Shikongo, JJ Smit, Ruben Trumpelmann, Michael van Lingen, David Wiese, Craig Williams, Picky Ya France. Reserves: Maurice Ngupita
Namibia’s 54-point victory over Oman in their 2019 T20 World Cup qualifying semi-final sealed their place and ended an impressive year for Pierre de Bruyn’s emerging side.
They also achieved ODI status by winning Division 2 of the ICC World Cricket League before securing their place at this year’s T20 tournament with a series of impressive performances.
While this is Namibia’s first taste of the T20 World Cup and their first match at an ICC World Cup in either limited format since 2003, their team is not without experience.
Former South Africa international David Wiese was included for his second T20 World Cup after the all-rounder qualified for the team through his Namibia-born father.
Meanwhile, powerful pitcher JJ Smit is another of the stars of the squad with their skipper Gerhard Erasmus, who is able to anchor a round or accelerate when needed.
Namibia’s historic first game will face 2014 champions Sri Lanka, a tough test that will be followed by meetings with the Netherlands and Ireland in their bid for a Super 12 spot.
Watch the 2021 ICC T20 Men’s World Cup live on Sky Sports – starting with a double title on Sunday when Oman takes on Papua New Guinea from 10 a.m., before Bangladesh clashes with Scotland from 2 p.m.