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Minnows who could spring a surprise in T20 World Cup 2024

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024: Minnows who could spring a surprise in upcoming World Cup. USA, Canada, Uganda and Papua New Guinea are the four new teams for this year's addition.

ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024_ ICC announce Teams, Fixture and Venues and date for T20 WC 2024 starting from June | Walking Wicket (Photo_ ©T20WorldCup_Twitter)
ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 to being from June 1 (Photo: ©T20WorldCup/Twitter)

The 9th edition of ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 is set to commence from the 1st of June. A total of 55 matches in the premier ICC T20 tournament will be co-hosted by the USA and the West Indies.


20 teams will be part of this showcase event where the first game is between the hosts USA and Canada at the Grand Prairie Stadium in Texas (USA). They are divided into 4 groups with each containing 5 teams and the top 2 of each group going to the Super 8 stage (again 2 groups of 4 teams each) followed by the knockouts (Semi Finals and Final). The final is set to take place on 29th June at the Kensington Oval in Barbados

This will be the first time a T20 World Cup will feature more than 16 teams as the past 8 editions were played with either 12 or 16 participating nations. There will be 3 debutant nations (co-host USA, Canada, and Uganda) in the tournament where England will be heading as the defending champions.

T20 is a format where there is a notion that any side can beat any other side on a given day and it is true. We have seen it multiple times and even in T20 World Cups, there have been instances of a lesser-known team beating their much-fancied opponents. So, we can’t rule out the possibility of an upset or two in the World Cup that is set to take place in the Caribbean and the USA.

Let us take a look at the lower-ranked teams who can create an impact in the tournament by beating sides who are possible title contenders or those who are expected to go deep in the tourney. 

Group A: India, Pakistan, Ireland, Canada, and USA

Dark Horse: Ireland

India and Pakistan, the arch-rivals have been pitted in the same group once and their clash is set to happen in New York. Another rivalry to look forward to is between the hosts USA & Canada. For the unversed, the very first known cricket game in history took place between these sides way back in 1844. There is plenty of history as far as this group is concerned.

While India and Pakistan are strong favourites to move to the next round, we can’t rule out Ireland springing a surprise as they have done in the past. They are a side that is known to dish out upsets and teams like India and Pakistan need to be wary of that fact. It is to be noted that Pakistan have suffered a defeat at the hands of Ireland in a World Cup in the past, albeit in the ODI format. The have also beaten the defending champions England in the last edition (T20 WC 2022).

USA and Canada are also well-balanced sides in T20 cricket, so this straightforward-looking group may change its shape come the World Cup.

Group B: England, Australia, Namibia, Scotland, and Oman

With the last two T20 WC champions, Australia and England, in the group, it is easy to say who will be the overwhelming favourites to move to the next stage. While sides like Scotland and Namibia have done reasonably well in the last tournament with Scotland edging out West Indies and the latter handing out a sound defeat to Sri Lanka. However, they may not pose much threat to either Australia or England.

Oman, another emerging team from Asia has made some rapid strides in the format. They stand even a lower chance compared to Scotland and Namibia.

Group C: New Zealand, West Indies, Afghanistan, Uganda, and Papua New Guinea

Dark Horse: Afghanistan

West Indies, the hosts of this World Cup have had a tough couple of years as far as the other formats are concerned but the 2-time T20 World Cup champs are a side to reckon with in 20-overs cricket. They along with New Zealand, who punch above their weights in ICC events, have a great chance of moving to the next round.

But they do have a threat in the form of Afghanistan, a side that can beat any other side in T20 cricket. They have players that possess experience of playing in these conditions and like Ireland, have a history of creating upsets. Afghanistan had a groundbreaking ICC World Cup 2023 where they beat the likes of Pakistan, and England and will be super confident of pulling out a similar feat here in their favourite format.

Uganda playing their first World Cup, is a good side having beaten the likes of Zimbabwe in the Qualifiers and will be hoping for a good show; so will Papua New Guinea.

Group D: South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Netherlands, and Nepal

Dark Horse: Netherlands

This can be termed as the group of death as 3 possible contenders are vying for the top 2 positions. South Africa is a strong side in any format, and we can’t rule out the former champions Sri Lanka. Bangladesh is a strong unit in T20s and if the tracks are slow, they have more than a decent chance of progressing to the next round.

But the dark horse of this group must be the Netherlands, who not once but twice, have beaten South Africa in successive World Cups. They have a good bunch of players for this format and can cause few upsets on any given day. 

1 Comment

Very well written. Glad that at least someone is there who's considering the minnows to create an upset, while other bloggers are just entirely focusing on India and Pakistan.

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