Afghanistan secure direct qualification for 2020 T20 World Cup in Australia

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Afghanistan secured a direct berth in the main group stage of the 2020 T20 World Cup to be held in Australia while Sri Lanka and Bangladesh missed out.

 12 teams will take part in the main group stage of the 2020 edition with the top-eight ranked sides in the world on the cut-off date set by the ICC gaining an automatic entry.

By virtue off their No8 rank in the T20 standings currently, Afghanistan have pipped ninth and 10th ranked Sri Lanka and Bangladesh respectively.

2014 champions Sri Lanka and 2018 Asia Cup runners-up Bangladesh will now have to go through the opening round of the 2020 World Cup in order to secure their berth in the ‘Super 12’.

Both sides will now need to finish among the top two spots in their respective four-team groups in the opening round to seal their passage to the main group stage (Super 12).

Sri Lanka T20 skipper Lasith Malinga remains confident that the islanders will be able to progress to the Super 12s.

“It is a bit disappointing that we have not been able to ensure a direct Super 12s berth but I’m confident that we will do well in the tournament,”Malinga was quoted as saying by the ICC.

“Having played three finals and winning once, it is natural that everyone expected us to finish in the top-eight but we have to take the opportunity in the extra matches of the group stage and prepare well for the knock-out matches,” he added.

His Bangladesh counterpart Shakib Al Hasan echoed similar sentiments.

“We have not secured a direct Super 12s berth but I’m confident that we will do well in the tournament by going through the group stage,” Shakib stated.

“We are a side capable of beating the best on our day and I see no reason why we can’t go far in the tournament. There is still some time and we will use it to be at our best for the T20 World Cup.”

The Super 12 stage in the 2020 T20 World Cup will see the teams divided into two pools of six and will have a round-robin format.

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