The road to the men’s ICC World T20 2020 continues in Fiji this week with two teams qualifying for next year’s regional final, as the first of two 2018 East-Asia Pacific regional qualifiers gets underway.

Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Vanuatu are all competing in the four-day ICC World T20 EAP A Qualifier which gets underway on 25 August. The tournament will be a double round-robin league, where all teams plays each other twice, with the top two teams at the end of the tournament proceeding to the ICC World T20 EAP Final to be played in 2019. They will be joined by one team from the second qualifier in the EAP region, taking place between 1 and 7 December in the Philippines.

The new qualification pathway for the ICC World T20 2020 not only reduces the number of steps towards a global event to four, but also provides more regular competitive opportunities for more Members. The enhanced qualification pathway aims to foster the continued improvement of Associate Member cricket and better prepare those teams that ultimately qualify for the global showpiece event in Australia.

In addition to the investment provided by the ICC to qualifying events, the Fiji Sports Commission has supported the event by providing a 120,000 Fiji Dollar grant for the tournament. The ICC East-Asia Pacific office and Cricket Fiji have a long-standing and strong relationship which has been developed over many years which is further demonstrated through this support. The Fiji Sports Commission contribution creates a lasting legacy for this tournament with funding directed towards new nets on top of a contribution to tournament costs.

ICC Development Manager - EAP, Jane Livesey said: ‘We are delighted to be showcasing cricket in the Pacific. There have been great strides made by the Members in the region, which have provided greater access for communities to experience cricket. In addition, the new qualification pathway has provided more competition opportunities for Associate Members, with Fiji, PNG, Samoa and Vanuatu all looking forward to a highly competitive pathway tournament.

“Partnerships are very important for cricket development in non-traditional markets. Alongside Cricket Fiji we have worked hard to build a strong relationship with the Fiji Sports Commission. Their generous grant for the tournament will create an even stronger legacy and we look forward to working together in the future.”