2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup
Date: 16 October – 13 November
The 2022 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup will be contested between 16 teams across seven ovals in Australia over the next month. This tournament was initially scheduled for 2020, but the Covid-19 pandemic – plus a packed cricketing schedule – pushed the event back by two years.
It is long overdue, and fans will be treated to a feast of cricket over 25 days of action. Here is a preview of four of the seeded teams (no group stage games) – England, New Zealand, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan – along with the four teams in Group A that will have to finish in the top two in the group to progress to the Super 12. All odds to win the World Cup come from BetXchange.
England – 4/1
The favorite out of this group of teams at 4/1 and third favorite overall behind Australia and India (both at 3/1). The English are strong in key areas – Jos Buttler is 10/1 third favorite as the top batsman – and their current (and final) preparation series against Australia is one England has won with a game to spare. Watch out for the bowling pace of Mark Wood to ramp up at the tail end of the tournament. This is a dangerous team.
New Zealand – 8/1
The Black Caps are always dangerous in white ball cricket, and they lost in the final of the 2021 T20 World Cup to Australia just last year in Dubai. They are in great form and have reached the final of their tri-series warmup with Pakistan and Bangladesh, to be played on Friday. Trent Boult (25/1 as the top bowler) gives them a pacer to rely on, and this squad will be there or thereabouts come semi-final time.
Afghanistan – 50/1
Afghanistan has been a cricketing (and sporting) success story since becoming full ICC members in 2017. The country is certainly facing issues – funding has completely dried up since the Taliban takeover per international sanctions – but this team has the chance to do some damage in Australia. Don’t be shocked to see Afghanistan pull off a shock somewhere before they are knocked out before the semi-final stage.
Bangladesh – 66/1
Bangladesh is 66/1 to win the tournament despite being a seeded team. The wheels have fallen off at the wrong time, and they will likely be winless in the four tri-series games against New Zealand and Pakistan. The bigger picture issue is that the country is still playing with lineup and combinations mere days before the first ball of the World Cup is bowled. It is hard to see them being any kind of factor in Australia, which is sad for a country with such steadfast support.
Group A Teams
Sri Lanka – 22/1
For those looking to prop bet, there is an interesting option here: Sri Lankan spin demon Wanindu Hasaranga is the favorite to be the top wicket-taker at 8/1. This is because Sri Lanka will play three group games against the following teams, all of whom are inferior opponents. If Hasaranga picks up 8-10 wickets here – he is more than capable – it will give him a huge head start on the rest of the elite bowling field. If they don’t top the group it will be shocking
Namibia – N/A
This squad is on the rise and will think it can get out of Group A. Namibia beat the Netherlands and Ireland to advance in 2021, and they beat Zimbabwe in May to claim their first-ever Test series win (3-2) over a Full-Member nation. They aren’t going to be involved in the later stages, but getting out of the group should be more of an expectation than a dream.
The Netherlands – N/A
This is a big stage for a Netherlands team that has underperformed in the last two T20 World Cups. Their issue has been a slow group stage start, something they cannot repeat here, with Sri Lanka looking to have one of the group qualification slots locked up based on form and ability. Look for Bas de Leede as the key player after a pair of T20 50+ run outings against New Zealand this summer.
UAE – N/A
The UAE has only qualified for the T20 World Cup once before, and that appearance ended with three straight defeats at this stage. Nothing is expected of the team so they can go out and enjoy it. A win would mean everything to the UAE and its players, who would make their mark in cricketing history.