The United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be the scene of some exciting and high-octane cricket when the finest cricketers from the Associate and Affiliate world descend on Dubai and Abu Dhabi next month.

All eight squads for the event, which will be staged between 9 and 13 February, have now been finalised. A total of 17 matches will be played over five days with Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium hosting six group stage matches and Dubai International Cricket Stadium at Dubai Sports City staging 11 matches, including six group matches, four Super Four matches and the final.

At stake will be two places in the ICC World Twenty20 2010 which takes places in the West Indies from 30 April to 16 May.

The winner of the UAE event will join South Africa and India in Group C while the losing finalist will join Group D which includes the West Indies and England.

Defending joint champions Ireland has named a formidable side for the tournament to be led by left-handed opener William Porterfield. The side includes 13 players who participated in the ICC World Twenty20 2009 in England where it defeated Bangladesh by six wickets in the group stage thus qualifying for the Super Eight.

In the Super Eight stage, Ireland lost to New Zealand by 83 runs but gave Sri Lanka a run for its money, before going down by just nine runs. The two new faces in Ireland's 14-man squad are George Dockrell and Gary Kidd who have replaced Kyle McCallan, Jeremy Bray and Regan West from the 15 who played in England last year.

The Netherlands, which caused the upset of the ICC World Twenty20 2009 when it defeated England in the opening match of the tournament by four wickets, will be without captain Jeroen Smits, Maurits Jonkman, Dirk Nannes and Darron Reekers. The four have been replaced by Mark Jonkman, Muhammad Kashif and Atse Buurman.

Scotland is the only Associate Member to have participated in both the ICC World Twenty20 tournaments to date. However, it is still searching for its first victory on the global stage. Scotland, from the England tournament, has retained Gavin Hamilton, Kyle Coetzer, Navdeep Poonia, Jan Stander, Neil McCallum, Richard Berrington, Gordon Drummond, Majid Haq, Ryan Watson, Dewald Nel and Fraser Watts while Gordon Goudie, Simon Smith and Ross Lyons have replaced Calum MacLeod, Glenn Rogers, Colin Smith and Craig Wright.

Kenya had failed to qualify for the England tournament but had participated in the inaugural tournament in South Africa in 2007. Players retaining their places from the South Africa event are David Obuya, Collins Obuya, Steve Tikolo, Maurice Ouma, Alex Obanda, James Kamande, Hiren Varaiya and Elijah Otieno while the newcomers are Rakep Patel, Nehemiah Ngoche, Lamech Ngoche, Shem Ngoche, Nelson Odhiambo and Otieno Ondik.

Canada's John Davison is the other big name to feature in the qualifying tournament. Davison hit the headlines in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2003 in South Africa when he stunned the West Indies with the fastest World Cup century in history, clubbing half a dozen sixes in a brilliant 111. He followed this up with the third-fastest World Cup half-century against New Zealand, making most runs and taking most wickets for Canada in the tournament.

Afghanistan has been on a high in the last 10 months and has put in some stellar individual and team performances. While it narrowly missed qualification for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 in South Africa in April 2009, its fifth finish (one ahead of Scotland) earned it an automatic ODI status.

Since achieving that status, it has played two ODIs against the Netherlands, winning one and losing one. Afghanistan most recently showed its skill, talent and prowess in the four-day first-class ICC Intercontinental Cup 2009-10 match in Dambulla when it beat defending champion Ireland by seven wickets. Besides Ireland, debutants Afghanistan also recorded a come-from-behind victory in Amstelveen when it defeated the Netherlands by one wicket in August 2009.

Prior to the Netherlands match against Zimbabwe XI, 21-year-old opener Noor Ali had became only the fourth batsman after Arthur Morris (New South Wales v Queensland, 1940), Nari Contractor (Gujarat v Baroda, 1952) and Aamir Malik (Lahore A v Pakistan Railways, 1980) to score a century in each innings on his first-class debut. Noor had achieved the feat when he scored 130 and 100 not out in the drawn game in Mutare.

Host the UAE and the USA have been specially invited by the ICC to participate in the tournament while Ireland, Kenya, Scotland, the Netherlands, Afghanistan and Scotland make it through to the qualifier on the basis of their ODI status.

Squads

Afghanistan – Dawlat Ahmadzai, Hamid Hasan, Karim Khan Sadiq, Mohammad Asghar Stanikzai, Mohamamd Shahzad Mohammadi, Mohammad Nabi Eisakhil, Merwais Ashraf, Nawroz Khan Mangal, Noor Ali Noori, Obaidullah Konary, Raees Ahmadzai, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Shahpoor Zardan and Samiullah Shinwari.

Canada – Harvir Baidwan, Ashish Bagai, Geoff Barnett, Umar Bhatti, Ian Billcliff, Rizwan Cheema, Khurram Chohan, John Davison, Sunil Dhaniram, Shaheed Keshvani, Usman Limbada, Henry Osinde, Abdool Samad and Saad Bin Zafar.

Ireland –Andre Botha, Alex Cusack, Peter Connell, George Dockrell, Trent Johnston, Gary Kidd, John Mooney, Kevin O'Brien, Niall O'Brien, William Porterfield, Boyd Rankin, Paul Striling, Andrew White and Gary Wilson.

Kenya – James Kamande, Lameck Ngoche, Nehemiah Ngoche, Shem Ngoche, Alex Obanda, Collins Obuya, David Obuya, Nelson Odhiambo, Otieno Ondik, Elijah Otieno, Maurice Ouma, Rakep Patel, Steve Tikolo and Hiren Varaiya.

Netherlands – Peter Borren, Mudassar Bukhari, Daan van Bunge, Ryan ten Doeschate, Tom de Grooth, Mark Jonkman, Muhammad Kashif, Alexei Kervezee, Atse Buurman, Timothy Gruijters, Edgar Schiferli, Pieter Seelaar, Eric Szwarczynski and Bas Zuiderent.

Scotland – Richie Berrington,, Kyle Coezter, Gordon Drummond, Gordon Goudie, Gavin Hamilton, Majid Haq, Ross Lyons, Neil McCallum, Dewald Nel, Navdeep Poonia, Simon Smith, Jan Stander, Ryan Watson and Fraser Watts.

UAE – Fayyaz Ahmed, Saqib Ali, Arfan Haider, Mohamed Iqbal, Amjad Javed, Khurram Khan, Mois Shahid Malik, Naeemuddin, Qadar Nawaz, Ahmed Raza, Abdul Rehman, Shoaib Sarwar, Mohammad Tauqir and Qassim Zubair.

USA – Timroy Allen, Imran Awan, Orlando Baker,, Lennox Cush, Kevin Darlington, Sudesh Dhaniram, Glenmore Hall, Rashard Marshall, Steve Massiah, Sushil Nadkarni, Usman Shuja, Aditya Thyagarajan and Saurabh Verma Carl Wright. ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier Groupings (In brackets are the seedings.