News out of Dubai today after the latest round of ICC meetings is that the USA, who are co-hosting the 2024 Menís T20 World Cup with the West Indies have been given automatic entry to the tournament, which will be a twenty team event.

This is no doubt also good news for Ireland and Scotland who are set to host the 2030 event along with England, and for Namibia and Zimbabwe who are set to host the 2027 Menís ODI World Cup with South Africa, as it sets a precedent that all co-hosts should get automatic entry.

Full details of how the 20 teams will be decided were also revealed, as follows:

  • USA & West Indies as hosts
  • Top eight from 2022 tournament
  • Highest two (three if West Indies in 2022 top eight) teams not already qualified on ICC rankings at 14 November 2022
  • Two teams from regional qualifiers for each of Africa, Europe and Asia
  • One team from regional qualifiers for each of Americas and East Asia Pacific

The decision to have regional qualifiers go straight into the World Cup, whilst ensuring that all regions will be represented may not be ideal. For example, as the rankings currently stand only two of Ireland, Scotland and Netherlands would be able to qualify despite all being ranked higher than any potential qualifiers from the EAP and Americas regions.

If there is to be no global qualifier, a far more equitable solution would be to have extra regional slots instead of the 2 or 3 spots available on rankings. The ICC rankings are barely fit for purpose and are very easily gamed especially so in T20Is where the sample size is relatively low. They should not be used to decide qualifiers for tournaments.