By Sports Reporter
The stage is set for the Asia Group A Qualifier for the 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at the Asian Town Stadium from Saturday till October 29. Hosts Qatar will compete against Bahrain, Maldives, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in the tournament, from which the top team will progress into the one of the two eight-team global qualifiers.
Qatar Cricket Association President Yousef Jeham al-Kuwari was thrilled Qatar was getting a chance to host the qualifiers. “We are delighted that we will host the event and efforts are on to deliver a world-class tournament,” al-Kuwari said yesterday.
“The QCA feels grateful to the International Cricket Council for granting this event to Qatar. We welcome all the contesting teams and officials. This is the first international cricket tournament here after the Covid-19 pandemic. The Ministry of Health is supporting us to hold the tournament in a safe environment,” he said.
Talking about spectators, he said: “Fans are allowed but they will have to follow all necessary protocols like wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing and having Ehteraz App installed in their phones.”
On Team Qatar’s preparations and future events, al-Kuwari said: “We had started preparations about three months before. Also we were fortunate to have an international friendly against a higher-ranked Afghanistan team.
The team is ready to produce high-level performances during the Asian qualifier. This is not the only event that we’re hosting. We’re in the process of lining up more international events. We’ll soon make announcements about them.”
ICC Tournament Director Niteesha Kothari and QCA General Secretary Abdulla Aman al-Khater were also present at the press conference yesterday. “Qatar has been hosting T20 events regularly. It is also organising a lot of other international events as well. So Qatar is already on the international map as far as sports is concerned,” Kothari said.
“Qatar is an important member for ICC. So we wanted to give it an opportunity to host this event, which is an Asia pathway event, with the winner advancing to one of the two global qualifier tournaments for the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia next year,” she said.
Before the first match tomorrow, Qatar and Bahrain teams will observe a two-minute silence and wear black armbands as a mark of respect to Sri Lanka’s first Test captain Bandula Warnapura, who passed recently at the age of 68.
Iqbal Hussain Chaudhry (Capt), Mohamed Rizlan (wk), Kamran Khan, Mohamed Tanveer, Zaheeruddeen Ibrahim, Imal Malindu, Gayan Buddika, Musawar Shah, Mohamed Nadeem, Dharmang Patel, Mohamed Murad Khan, Andri Berenger, Sandun Vithanage, Mohamed Ikramullah.
October 23: Qatar v Bahrain (9am) and Maldives v Saudi Arabia (1:10pm)
October 24: Bahrain v Kuwait (9am) and Qatar v Maldives (1:10pm)
October 25: Kuwait v Saudi (9am)
October 27: Bahrain v Maldives (9am) and Saudi v Qatar (1:10am)
October 28: Maldives v Kuwait (9am) and Saudi Arabia v
October 29: Kuwait v Qatar (9am)
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