Here are ten matches to look out for at T20 World Cup 2024

With the schedule released, we take a look at 10 matches that stand out on the fixture list for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup of 2024

Here are ten matches to look out for at T20 World Cup 2024 PHOTO: ICC

Beginning on 1 June, the USA and West Indies host 18 of the best teams in the world in what is the biggest line-up in ICC global tournament history.

With the schedule released, we take a look at 10 matches that stand out on the fixture list for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup of 2024.

USA v Canada, Dallas - 1 June

As neighbours go head-to-head on the world stage it’s worth noting that the USA v Canada fixture is the oldest rivalry in international cricket, with the pair playing what is considered the first international cricket match in 1844, 33 years prior to England’s meeting against Australia. For the record, Canada won the two innings match by 23 runs at the St. George’s Cricket Club in Manhattan.

In the modern day there is no love lost between the teams, headlined by multiple encounters of fire and spice across both white-ball formats. USA played their part in denying Canada ODI status at World Cricket League 2 back in 2019, while tensions have flared in recent meetings in the T20 format.

A Super Over was needed to separate the teams in their last T20I, with the USA prevailing thanks to Steven Taylor and Xavier Marshall combining for 22 runs. Ali Khan saw off the Canadian threat, keeping Navneet Dhaliwal and Dillon Heyliger to 14 in response.

India v Pakistan, New York - 9 June

An obvious inclusion given the rivalry between the teams, the pair also have history in recent T20 World Cups, with the latest chapter in Australia one of the greatest matches in tournament history.

India won the final-ball thriller in front of a capacity crowd at the MCG, though Pakistan have had their fair share of the spoils in recent times, thumping India in a 10-wicket triumph in UAE back in the 2021 edition.

The added charm in this chapter will be the game’s backdrop of Nassau County International Cricket Stadium of New York, the fifth game at the venue.

England v Australia, Barbados - 8 June

A blockbuster irrespective of the format, the teams meet at the Kensington Oval in Barbados at the same venue where England claimed victory over their traditional rivals in the 2010 tournament.

Fast-forward 13 years and the bitterness continues to simmer. 2021 T20 World Cup champions Australia meet the side to claim 2022 honours, and Jos Buttler’s team will be desperate to keep their crown after a disappointing show at the 2023 Cricket World Cup on the ODI side of things.

England have enjoyed a fruitful December tour of the West Indies in their build-up, piling 267/3 and 226/3 in back-to-back T20I innings to underline their credentials.

South Africa v Netherlands, New York - 8 June

A bogey team for South Africa in recent tournaments, the match will be a mental battle as much as a physical one over 22 yards.

South Africa were shocked by the Dutch in Adelaide in the 2022 edition, and at Cricket World Cup 2023 in the longer format, a thumping Dutch counter with the bat and a strong Powerplay performance with the ball led to their 38-run win.

Outside of one or two players moving on the teams should be similar to the XIs that took each other on in Australia, and South Africa will have experience of the New York surface thanks to an early game at the same venue.

Uganda v PNG, Guyana - 5 June

A debutant team on a fairytale run against a second-time entrant desperate to show their quality with a maiden win. Either way, there will be a heartwarming story when the final ball is bowled in Guyana.

The match-up is a fascinating one for those who follow the emerging game. Uganda come from a hotbed of Associate talent in east and southern Africa, while PNG have filled their calendar through a mix of East Asia-Pacific Qualifiers, a tri-series with Malaysia and Hong Kong, plus tournaments and play in northern Australia.

PNG’s experience at the 2021 edition may give them a slight edge, though the teams will have played a match each in the campaign by the time they meet at the Guyana National Stadium.

West Indies v New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago - 12 June

The penultimate match of the West Indies’ group phase effort, the match between these two could dictate the fortunes of the co-hosts tournament. A win would likely springboard their campaign, or consign them to an early exit.

Conversely, the match could be a must-win for the Black Caps, if they happen to go down to Afghanistan earlier in the competition. New Zealand have won nine of the last 11 T20Is between the teams, excluding no results.

There is an air of excitement in the West Indies after recent encouraging performances, though the assessment of their current generation could well hinge on this fixture.

Bangladesh v Nepal, St Vincent and The Grenadines - 16 June

Not only is the fixture an excellent opportunity to test themselves over a regional rival, it’s also a rematch of a meeting at the T20 World Cup in 2014. Bangladesh claimed a comfortable eight-wicket win, though the gap between the teams has closed in recent years.

While a great chance for a young and exciting Nepali group to shock a relative giant, there’s a potential full-circle moment for Sompal Kami, the only member of the current Nepali team to play in the 2014 fixture.

Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, Dallas - 7 June

While the two teams cross paths a lot across formats, the unfamiliar territory of the Grand Prairie Cricket Stadium surface adds intrigue to a meeting that could well decide the second qualifier out of Group D

Sri Lanka claimed their most recent T20I meeting, a final over victory in Dubai at the 2022 Asia Cup, and were five-wicket winners (with seven balls remaining) when the teams met at the 2021 World Cup in Sharjah.

The Dallas surface has a reputation for favouring pace off, with left-arm orthodox and leg-spin effective in negating the danger of the shorter boundary on the western side. Shakib Al Hasan and Wanindu Hasaranga are likely the key players for this fixture.

England v Scotland, Barbados - 4 June

Those in Scottish circles lament the lack of Anglo-Scottish meetings in international cricket, and it’s fair to say the men from the north will have the fixture circled in the calendar.

And just to spice the fixture up a little, it was the Scots who surprised their rivals to the south in an ODI at (The Grange) in 2018.

England have been the yardstick in the T20I format over the last two years, but did lose to Ireland (albeit on DLS) during their successful 2022 campaign.

Scotland have enjoyed moments of success in recent T20 World Cups and tend to hit their straps early, having beaten Bangladesh and the West Indies in their opening fixtures at the last two tournaments.

Ireland v Pakistan, Lauderhill - 16 June

Ireland have history of beating Pakistan at ICC events, most notably their victory in the 50-over World Cup on St Patrick’s day in 2007.

Pakistan may be relieved to be meeting the Irish in Florida and not Kingston where they were 16 years ago, though Ireland have enjoyed the Lauderhill location having won both of their T20Is at the venue, in a series against the USA in December 2021.

The match is the last of the group for both teams, who could well need the victory to ensure progress.