ICC planning a eight team T20I tournament for associate nations
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The International Cricket Council (ICC) have announced an eight-team T20 International (T20I) tournament, involving the associate nations, in late 2017, or early 2018. The ICC earlier also was possibly considering organising an ICC World T20 in 2018, and with the talks of organising this short eight-team T20I tournament could well mean that the prospects of witnessing a World T20 in 2018 are pretty high.
This tournament would be a separate tournament, apart from the ICC World T20 qualifiers, if ICC decides to go ahead with the global tournament in 2018. The top associate nations, who already have the ODI and T20I status, in the form of Ireland, Afghanistan, Scotland, Hong Kong, UAE and Papua New Guinea, along with Netherlands and Oman too, would be participating in the tournament.
As of now, the tournament is scheduled to be held in from January 6-20 in 2018. It has also been stated that Test playing nations Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have also been invited but nations are yet to confirm their participation.
For Afghanistan, Scotland, Netherlands, and Oman, this would be their first T20Is since the 2016 World T20 in March. Ireland hosted Hong Kong for a T20I series in September. For UAE, these would be their first T20Is since reaching the main draw of the Asia Cup in February, while PNG’s last T20Is came in February when they lost a series 1-2 to Ireland in Townsville.
Earlier in 2016, Hong Kong toured Ireland for a T20I series in September, while UAE would be playing their first major tournament since participation in the Asia Cup in February 2016.