Cox’s Bazaar has been dropped as a venue for the 2014 World T20 to be held in Bangladesh between March 16 and April 6. Sylhet, another venue considered doubtful due to ongoing work at the stadium, has been retained.
On Sunday, the ICC announced that Sylhet would host all first-round fixtures of the Women’s World T20 and a few group matches of the World T20, along with Mirpur and Chittagong. All six knockout matches will be played in Mirpur.
Sylhet and Cox’s Bazaar were in doubt because of ongoing development in the stadiums and were given an extension by the ICC till November 30, after accepting Bangladesh Cricket Board’s request. The original deadline for the completion of the stadiums was September 30.
Campbell Jamieson, the ICC general manager – commercial, said he was confident of Bangladesh hosting a tournament successfully, like they have in the past. “Bangladesh hosted the ICC Champions Trophy in 1998 [then known as the ICC KnockOut] and most recently the World Cup 2011, along with India and Sri Lanka. Following the legacies of these two successful events, as well as the U-19 World Cup 2004, I’m confident that Bangladesh will once again produce a world-class tournament.”
The format for the World T20 has been modified to accommodate 16 teams in this edition, as compared to 12 in the last edition. The top eight sides of the ICC’s T20 team rankings as on October 8, 2012 have been given direct entry into the Super 10 stage. Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, who finished outside the top eight, will compete with six other qualifying teams in the first round from March 16 to 21 for the remaining two places in the Super 10 groups.
The eight teams in the first round have been divided into two groups of four teams each with table-toppers progressing to the next stage. The six qualifying teams to join the first round will be decided at the end of the World T20 qualifiers to be held in the UAE between November 15 and 30. If Bangladesh reach the Super 10 stage, they will play all their matches in Mirpur, facing West Indies, India, Pakistan and Australia.
The Super 10 stage will commence with a match between India and Pakistan in Mirpur on March 21. West Indies will begin their title defence on March 23 against India in Mirpur and will play the rest of their group matches against Pakistan, Australia and a qualifying team.
The women’s teams, increased from eight to ten, have been divided into two groups of five teams each. Australia, the women’s T20 defending champions, will start their campaign for a third title against New Zealand on March 23. The knockout games for both tournaments will be played on the same day at the same venue.
Jamieson said a large chunk of the tickets for the tournament will be available locally: “The majority of tickets will be available for the public here in Bangladesh. I mean a very high percentage, a significant proportion. Moneygram outlets throughout the country. I anticipate the demand for tickets will far outweigh the supply, which is great for the game of cricket but it is a challenge when the sales takes place.” Tickets go on sale from November 10.