Explained: 2026 Men’s T20 World Cup Qualification Pathway

The Men’s T20 World Cup made its mark on the land of the United States of America. As the 2024 edition concludes, the cricketing world shifts its attention to the 2026 Men’s T20 World Cup qualification.

India and Sri Lanka are all set to co-host the 10th iteration of the global T20I event, with 20 teams in the race to claim the trophy. 12 of the 20 teams have sealed their spots through automatic qualification, while over 100 nations are in the running to book the remaining 8 slots via regional qualifiers.

How many teams have earned automatic qualification for the 2026 T20 World Cup?

As mentioned above, 12 teams have made it to the main event based on their performance in the 2024 edition and ICC rankings. 

Co-host India and 7 other teams — Australia, Afghanistan, the USA, South Africa, the West Indies, England, and Bangladesh — earned automatic spots after they advanced to the Super 8 in the 2024 iteration.

The other co-hosts, Sri Lanka, couldn’t proceed to the Super 8 round but have booked their automatic slot by being a host nation.

The other 3 spots are decided based on their ICC T20I rankings. Currently, New Zealand, Pakistan, and Ireland are top-ranked teams in the global chart and are poised to make it through to the 2026 Men’s T20 World Cup.

What about the other 8 spots?

To fill up the remaining 8 slots, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has mapped out sub-regional and regional qualifier tournaments scheduled between 2024-25.

The first set of sub-regional qualifiers took place between June 9 and 16, 2024, in Italy, with the hosts, Italy, advancing to the Europe Regional Qualifier Final.

The ICC will be hosting many such sub-regional qualifiers in their 5 regions — Africa, Americas, Asia, East Asia-Pacific, and Europe — feeding into the regional qualifier finals.

The teams that participated in the 2024 edition but couldn’t seal automatic qualification will directly play in their respective regional qualifier finals. So, Namibia and Uganda (Africa), Canada (Americas), Nepal and Oman (Asia), Papua New Guinea (East Asia-Pacific), and Scotland and the Netherlands (Europe) have entered their regional finals.

2 teams each from Africa, Asia, and Europe regional finals will gain qualification for the 2026 Men’s T20 World Cup, while 1 each from the Americas and East Asia-Pacific will qualify for the main event, making it a 20-team event.

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