Huge question confronting Aussies at World Cup

1 month ago 24
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It's the one major trophy that eludes the Australian men's cricket team, and they'll get their seventh chance at glory over the next few weeks.

But questions hang over the two star batters - David Warner and Steve Smith - who both endured a miserable second half of the IPL.

Warner was dropped by his team, Sunrisers Hyderabad, despite having captained that team to the title previously. Smith, meanwhile, struggled to get a game for Delhi Capitals.

David Warner and Steve Smith playing a T20 international for Australia in 2020. (Getty)

Australia's recent form is hardly cause for optimism - the team has won just six of 21 matches in the last 13 months.

Here's all you need to know about the T20 World Cup.

When is the T20 World Cup?

The opening round gets underway this weekend, with Oman and Papua New Guinea facing off this Sunday at 9pm (ADST) at the Al Amerat Cricket Stadium in Muscat.

The 'Super 12' stage begins when Australia play their first match on Saturday October 23rd at 9pm ADST, and the tournament will conclude with the final at 1am ADST on Monday November 15th.

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How many teams are involved?

There are 16 teams in all.

Eight teams have advanced straight to the Super 12 stage, by virtue of their T20 world ranking. They are: India, Australia, Pakistan, England, New Zealand, West Indies, South Africa, and Afghanistan.

The ninth and tenth-ranked teams - Bangladesh and Sri Lanka - will join the remaining six qualifiers in the opening round. They are: Oman, Papua New Guinea, Ireland, Namibia, Scotland, and the Netherlands.

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How does the tournament work?

The opening round has divided the eight teams into two groups, pitting each quartet in round robin competition. The top two from each group progresses to the Super 12, which is again split in half.

Australia, England, South Africa and the West Indies make up Group A, while India, Pakistan, New Zealand and Afghanistan are in Group B. Two qualifiers will be added into each group, with each team playing the other five once.

The top two from each group advances to the semi-finals.

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Who will win?

India are the favourites, and England are second-best at the bookies despite the absences of Jofra Archer and Ben Stokes. The West Indies, who have won two of the last three World Cups, are equal third favourites with New Zealand.

Australia are fifth favourites to win at $7.00.

Aaron Finch and Justin Langer (Getty)

Who is in the Australian team?

The squad will be led by captain Aaron Finch and vice-captain Pat Cummins. The rest of the squad is: Ashton Agar, Josh Hazlewood, Josh Inglis, Mitchell Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Marcus Stoinis, Mitchell Swepson, Matthew Wade, David Warner, Adam Zampa.

The three reserve players are Dan Christian, Nathan Ellis, and Daniel Sams.

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Why is it in Qatar and Oman?

The tournament was originally meant to take place last year in April, and be held in India. As the COVID-19 pandemic made that impossible, it was pushed back to 2021 with the BCCI still confident of hosting.

It wasn't until June that the decision was made to move the opening round to Oman, and the rest of the tournament from the Super 12 onwards to Qatar.

The West Indies go berserk after beating England in the men's 2016 T20 World Cup final. (Getty)

"The BCCI made every effort to stage the ICC Men's T20 World Cup in India and provide its passionate fans with a reason to cheer after a long period of gloom," BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said.

"However, the prevailing pandemic situation in the country meant that the health and safety of everyone concerned was fraught with risk should a tournament of this stature is held across the country.

"The BCCI will continue to host the tournament, which will now be held in the UAE and Oman and work closely with the ICC to make it a memorable event."

What is the prize money?

The winners will receive $1.6 million USD ($2.16 million AUD), with the runner-up getting $800,000 USD ($1.08 million AUD) and each losing semi-finalist $400,000 USD. ($504,000 AUD).

The four teams that are knocked out in the first round each receive $40,000 USD ($50,400 AUD), and the remaining eight who don't get past the Super 12 will get $70,000 ($94,500 AUD) each.

There is also a $40,000 USD bonus for each individual win in the first round and the Super 12.

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