The rapid growth of the women’s game is once again been reflected in a significant growth of the T20 World Cup pathway, with another ten teams set to compete on the road to the 2024 Women’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh.
The number of teams competing in the qualifiers has grown from 36 to 46, with the bulk of the growth driven by the Asia and Europe regions, both growing by 4 teams. Africa has also added three teams to its pathway, growing to a total of 14 teams.
The global qualifier is also expanding, from eight to ten teams, with Asia, Africa and Europe gaining additional berths, each receiving two qualifiers. Americas and East Asia Pacific each receive 1 berth, with the final two spots going to Ireland and Sri Lanka, after they failed to secure automatic qualification at the 2023 World Cup.
The additional teams in the Africa region had led to the pathway dividing into two divisions for the first time. Eight teams will compete in Division Two, with the top two teams advancing to join the top 6 teams in the region in Division One. Lesotho and Malawi will make the pathway debuts in Division Two, along with Kenya, who return after missing the 2023 pathway event. Joined them in Division Two are Botswana, Cameroon, Estwatini, Mozambique and Sierra Leone. Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe all advance directly to Division One.
Likewise, in Europe, the expansion sees the introduction of a Division Two tournament. Six teams will participate – France, Germany, Italy, Jersey, Sweden, Turkey – with the latter four all set to make their pathway debuts. The top two teams will advance to Division One, to join Netherlands and Scotland, with two berths available in the global qualifier.
In Asia, three teams join the pathway for the first time – Bahrain, Myanmar and Qatar – and China return after missing the 2021 qualifier during COVID. Thailand also fall back to the regional qualifiers after failing to qualify for the 2023 T20 World Cup. Alongside Bhutan, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nepal and UAE, eleven teams will compete in a single tournament to determine the two teams to advance to the global qualifier.
The Americas region remains the same as in 2021, with USA, Canada, Argentina and Brazil all competing for one spot. Meanwhile, seven teams will compete in the EAP region, Cook Islands, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Vanuatu. Although a reduction from the eight teams who were scheduled to play in the cancelled 2021 tournament, without the Philippines, the tournament has grown by one over the 2019 event, with the Cook Islands set to make their official pathway debut.
The tournaments begin with Europe Division Two, which takes place in Jersey between 29th May and 2nd June, with the global qualifier set to take place in early 2024.