Ireland and Scotland learn ICC World Twenty20 qualifier format

Ireland's Kevin O'Brien hits out, watched by Scotland wicketkeeper Douglas Lockhart
Ireland and Scotland will lock horns in Dubai on 18 March

The International Cricket Council has announced the format by which Ireland and Scotland will bid to qualify for

The 16 hopeful teams will battle for two tournament places in a 12-day event in the United Arab Emirates in March.

Ireland and Scotland are in Group B with Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, Oman, Italy and the United States.

Group A comprises Afghanistan, the Netherlands, Canada, Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong, Bermuda, Denmark and Nepal.

The two group winners of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier will play each other in the first qualifying final, with the winner of that game guaranteed a place in the tournament proper.

Group A's second-placed team will play the third-placed team in Group B and vice versa, with the winners of those games meeting in the preliminary final.

The preliminary final winner and the first qualifying final loser will take part in the second qualifying final for the second place in the main tournament.

The winners of the two qualifying finals will then contest the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier final - with the winner joining Australia and West Indies in Group B of the tournament proper, and the runner-up facing defending champions England and 2007 winners India in Group A.

This will be the third time ICC associate and affiliate teams have had the chance to qualify for the World Twenty20, with the 2012 event taking place in Sri Lanka from 18 September until 7 October.

ICC World Twenty20 qualifier - selected fixtures

13 March - Ireland v Namibia, Dubai (ICC GCA Ground 2)

13 March - Kenya v Scotland, Dubai (ICC GCA Ground 1)

14 March - Ireland v Kenya, Dubai (Sports City Stadium)

14 March - Scotland v Namibia, Abu Dhabi

15 March - Ireland v Italy, Abu Dhabi

15 March - Scotland v Uganda, Dubai (ICC GCA Ground 1)

16 March - Ireland v USA, Dubai (ICC GCA Ground 2)

16 March - Scotland v Oman, Sharjah

18 March - Ireland v Scotland, Dubai (Sports City Stadium)

19 March - Scotland v Italy, Dubai (ICC GCA Ground 2)

19 March - Ireland v Uganda, Dubai (ICC GCA Ground 2)

20 March - Ireland v Oman, Abu Dhabi

20 March - Scotland v USA, Dubai (ICC GCA Ground 2)

Full tournament schedule (external site)external-link