The ICC on Monday announced that as many as 86 teams will fight for the 15 spots in the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia, the qualifying phase comprising 225 matches across 13 months. The 15 spots will be decided through a four-step qualifying process which starts in April next year. Eleven regional qualification tournaments across five regions have been rescheduled to 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will now feed into the 2022 Australia event. For the first time ever Hungary, Romania and Serbia will be competing for men's T20 World Cup qualification and Finland will play host to an ICC event for the very first time.
It will also be the first time that Japan will host a men's T20 World Cup Qualifier, on the back of the U19 World Cup Qualifier they will host two weeks before.
At regional level there will be 67 associate members taking part.
Due to the depth of strength within Africa and Europe, both regions have sub regional qualifiers feeding into a final qualifier for the region.
Africa, Americas, EAP (East Asia and Pacific) and Europe will have one top tier regional qualifier and Asia will have A and B to determine which teams will progress into the two eight-team global qualifiers.
The 16 available spots in the global qualifiers will be filled by one team each from the Africa and EAP Qualifier respectively. They will be joined by two teams each from the Americas and Europe qualifiers.
Finally, Asia which has a Qualifier A and B will see one team from each event make up the eight spots from regional qualification.
The remaining eight spots will go to the four bottom teams from the T20 World Cup 2021 and together with Nepal, Singapore, UAE and Zimbabwe which have gained direct entry based on the ICC men's T20I team rankings.
Four teams from the two global qualifiers will join hosts Australia and the 11 automatic qualifiers from the ICC men's T20 World Cup 2021 to make up the 16-team T20 World Cup 2022.
In the lead up to the Australia event there will be 225 men's T20 Internationals scheduled to be played across 13 months, giving every team an opportunity to climb the rankings chart.
ICC head of events, Chris Tetley said: "The pathway sees the likes of Hungary, Romania and Serbia competing for the first time in an ICC event of this format, highlighting the increased competitiveness within associate members."
The 16 teams that had originally qualified for the 2020 Australia event will now play in the T20 World Cup 2021 in India.
The participating teams for that event are Australia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, England, India, Ireland, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Oman, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies.
All events are subject to COVID-19 arrangements if required at that time.