The International Cricket Council Americas Region today announced the introduction of an ICC World Twenty20 qualifying structure for the ICC World Twenty20 2012 in Sri Lanka as a part of the ICC Americas 2011 tournament schedule.
As a result of the ICC Executive Board's decision to expand the ICC World Twenty20 to 16 teams, all Americas member countries will in 2011 participate in three divisions, with promotion and relegation, for two places in the ICC World Twenty20 Global Qualifier in 2012. The Qualifier will now consist of 16 teams of which six are ICC High Performance countries and six will be Associate and Affiliate nations.
The three divisions will be ICC Americas Division 3 (T20) to be hosted by Costa Rica from March 13th - 20nd, ICC Americas Division 2 (T20) to be hosted by Suriname from April 10th - 17th, and ICC Americas Division 1 (T20) to be hosted by Canada from July 17th - 25th.
In addition to the three divisions, the ICC Americas U19 Division 1 Championship will be held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida (USA) from February 6th - 13th. The top two teams from this championship will be promoted to compete in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup Global Qualifier scheduled to take place in Ireland in June/July 2011.
The ICC Americas 2011 tournament schedule will also include numerous youth events including, all three ICC Americas U15 Regional Championships, an inaugural ICC Americas U17 Event and an ICC Americas Regional Academy to be hosted in St. Kitts.
ICC Americas Regional Development Manager, Martin Vieira stated: "This will be a very busy year for events in the region. As our focus now on the T20 format, it will be interesting to see if any of the Affiliates can upset some of the Associates in the rankings. Our High Performance Academy camp in St. Kitts and the U17 tournament are firsts for the region as we continue to expand our development programme to reach a broader range of players."