The line-up for the global qualifier for the Twenty20 World Cup has been confirmed at the Americas qualifier final in Bermuda this past week.
The qualifiers were confirmed with four games still left to play as outsiders the Cayman Islands lost every game, and the USA only beat the Caymans. The Americans will count themselves unlucky as their early defeats were in close games, but questions will be raised as to what went wrong given their preparations, described by USA Cricket as a "first of its kind" and "historic".
The three-week training camp in Los Angeles, led by Kiran More and his new coaching team following the departure of Pubudu Dassanayake, was described by USA Cricket ahead of the tournament as leading to "across-the-board improvements for the team" and positioning the team for success in the tournament.
Given the USA will now miss out on the global qualifier for the first time since the first event in 2008 when only the six ODI status associates were involved, it isn't clear what those improvements are. The departure of Dassanayake will come under further scrutiny, especially given that the ICC see the USA as a major target for improvement and has been keen to celebrate their success.
For Bermuda and Canada, it represents a turn around in fortunes following poor runs of form towards the end of the World Cricket League that saw them both placed in the Challenge League, the third tier of international one-day cricket. Bermuda had been boosted by the availability of Delray Rawlins, granted leave by Sussex, for the tournament. He played a key-role in the hosts win over the USA in the first match with 63 from 53 balls.
Canada had the two top batsmen in terms of both runs and average in the tournament in the shape of Navneet Dhaliwal and Ravinderpal Singh, the latter of whom scored the tournament's only century with 101 from 48 balls against the Caymans on the opening day, becoming the first male player to score a T20I century on debut. They also had the leading wicket-taker in Dilon Heyliger, who took 11 wickets at 10.09 and took four wickets in an innings twice.
Bermuda and Canada will now join the other regional qualifiers - Papua New Guinea, Namibia, Kenya, Nigeria (replacing the suspended Zimbabwe), Jersey and Singapore, along with Scotland, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Oman and Ireland who played in the 2016 World Twenty20 and hosts the United Arab Emirates. The tournament will be played from 11 October to 3 November.