The first qualifying event for the 2024 T20 World Cup will commence in June in Europe as the ICC unveiled the process and schedule for the pathway events in the continent. The entire two-year qualification process sees 15 different pathway events take place, with teams from six continents vying for eight qualification berths. It will also mark the largest contingent of teams at the finals in the USA and the West Indies, with 20 teams set to participate in the main event. There will be eight spots up for grabs through the qualifiers, with 12 teams qualifying automatically.

The top-eight teams from the 2022 edition (to be hosted by Australia this October-November) along with the two hosts – West Indies and USA – will get automatic berths for the 2024 league phase. The remaining two slots, via the automatic-qualification route, will be taken by the next-highest-ranked teams on the ICC’s T20 rankings as of November 14 this year. In case West Indies finish in the top eight in this year’s World Cup, then the top-three teams based on their ICC rankings on the cut-off date will make the grade.

Overall, 68 nations will start at the sub-regional qualifiers, with 28 of those entering later once the results of this year’s T20 World Cup and the automatic qualifiers for 2024 are known. The 68 teams will seek to progress from the first step and will be spread across 10 sub-regional qualifiers: 16 from Africa (two events), eight from the Americas (one event), nine from Asia (two events), seven from the EAP (two events) and 28 teams competing from Europe across their three events.

From the two sub-regional qualifiers in Africa that will feature 16 teams, four will progress to the regional Africa finals in 2023, and eventually two for the main event in 2024. Eight teams from the Americas sub-regional qualifiers will fight for three spots in the regional Americas finals next year, who will then compete along with Canada for one final spot for 2024. One team from each of the two Asia sub-regional qualifiers will meet Bahrain, Nepal and Oman in the regional Asia finals for the two final spots for the main event. The winners of each of the EAP sub-regional events will meet Philippines in the EAP regional finals to eventually compete for one qualifying spot. And each of the three sub-regional winners from Europe this June will compete with Germany in the Europe regional finals next year for the last two qualifying spots for 2024.

The three sub-regional qualifiers in Europe this year will take place across Belgium and Finland over five weeks starting June 28.

Speaking on the commencement of the qualification pathway, ICC Head of Events Chris Tetley said, “We are delighted to see a record number of teams competing for places at ICC events as the Men’s T20 World Cup pathway begins in Europe. The T20 format continues to drive the growth of the game and over the next two years we will see new teams competing in ICC events for the very first time.

“A very warm welcome to Hungary, Romania and Serbia who are making their debut and thanks to Cricket Belgium and Cricket Finland for playing host to a record number of teams at this stage in qualification. I would like to wish all the competing teams every success as they begin their journey towards the USA and West Indies in 2024.”

The 2024 T20 World Cup is set to begin in June that year. It will be the first major ICC event hosted by the USA.