Four teams — Hong Kong, Kuwait, Singapore, and the UAE — will feature in the 2022 Asia Cup Qualifier to determine the last spot at the upcoming Asia Cup. The teams will play each other once, in a Round Robin format, at the Oman Cricket Academy Ground Turf 1 in Muscat. The team at the top of the points table will move to the main event, which will be played from August 27 in the UAE.
The team that finishes on top of the points table in the Qualifier will be pitted with India and Pakistan in Group A of Asia Cup 2020. They will face India on August 31 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, and then take on Pakistan on September 2 at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
How were the four teams decided?
A total of 13 teams were in contention to play in the Asia Cup Qualifier, organised by the Asian Cricket Council (ACC). The matches took place back in early 2020, before the global COVID-19 lockdown. Eight teams took part in the Western event, and another five in the Eastern event. Two teams from each T20 tournament then advanced to the 2022 Asia Cup Qualifiers.
2020 ACC Western Region T20:
Teams involved: Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Maldives, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates
The first qualifying stage for the Asia Cup, held in two venues in Muscat, Oman, featured Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Maldives in Group A, and Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE in Group B. Each side played three league games, with Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates making the top four.
In the first semi-final, Kuwait scored a competitive 210-4 in their 20 overs and progressed to the final after knocking out Bahrain for 123. They faced the UAE in the final, who had won a low-scoring thriller in the second semifinal, edging ahead by 28 runs after scoring 122. The UAE went on to win the Western Region T20 competition, scoring 199-5 in the final and restricting Kuwait at 97-7.
The UAE and Kuwait advanced to the 2020 Asia Cup Qualifier.
2020 Eastern Region T20:
Teams involved: Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Nepal, Thailand
The tournament, held in Terdthai Cricket Ground, Bangkok, Thailand, was reduced to a five-team competition after China, Bhutan and Myanmar withdrew due to COVID-19. All sides played four games apiece. Singapore and Hong Kong finished on top of the points table, with seven and six points respectively, earning a chance to compete in the Asia Cup.
2022 Asia Cup Qualifier schedule:
*All timings local
August 20 – Singapore v Hong Kong – 6pm
August 21 – UAE v Kuwait – 6pm
August 22 – UAE v Singapore – 6pm
August 23 – Kuwait v Hong Kong – 6pm
August 24 – Singapore v Kuwait – 6pm
August 24 – Hong Kong v UAE – 6pm