Belfast to host cricket Twenty20 qualifier

Belfast is set to host the inaugural World Twenty20 qualifier in August as six teams compete for two spots in the 2009 finals in England.

Belfast is set to host the inaugural World Twenty20 qualifier in August as six teams compete for two spots in the 2009 finals in England.

Ireland, Bermuda, Canada, Kenya, the Netherlands and Scotland will take part in the three-day event at Belfast's Stormont ground in a bid to join the 10 other sides who will compete in the main tournament.

"The inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa was a great success with two Associate teams - Kenya and Scotland - qualifying through the ICC World Cricket League Division One,'' said International Cricket Council global development manager Matthew Kennedy.

"This event gives the top six Associates the opportunity to qualify for the 2009 World Twenty20 in that format of the game.

"It will also give cricket fans in Ireland a great opportunity to see some thrilling cricket in this, the shortest and newest form of the international game.''

Irish Cricket Union chief executive Warren Deutrom welcomed the announcement.

"The ICU is excited at the prospect of hosting this inaugural Associate World Twenty20 on home soil in Stormont,'' he said.

"Three games a day for three days in this highly popular form of the game will surely attract the interest of the Irish public.''

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