Teams, format, match-ups: All to know about the T20 World Cup Super Eights

What’s the schedule and path to the final? Will holders England face favourites India or unification hopefuls Australia? What are Afghanistan’s chances?

India's captain Rohit Sharma, right, and partner Virat Kohli will hope the T20 World Cup 2024 can make up for the huge disappointment suffered on home soil in the 2023's 50-over tournament [Adam Hunger/AP Photo]

The ICC Men’s Twenty20 World Cup 2024 – cricket’s biggest tournament – has reached the Super Eights stage in the United States and the West Indies.

The 20-team competition has slimmed to eight teams and there have already been major shocks and eliminations in the group stages.

Here’s what you need to know about the next phase of the tournament:

Which teams have qualified for the Super Eights?

The top two teams from each of the initial four groups have qualified, with the most notable omissions being Pakistan and New Zealand:

  • India (Group A winners)
  • USA (Group A runners-up)
  • Australia (Group B winners)
  • England (Group B runners-up)
  • West Indies (Group C winners)
  • Afghanistan (Group C runners-up)
  • South Africa (Group D winners)
  • Bangladesh (Group D runners-up)

How does the format work?

Following the four groups of five that began the tournament, the structure now reduces to two groups of four – the Super Eights.

Each team will play each other once in their respective groups with the top two teams from each qualifying for the semifinals.

  • Group 1: Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, India
  • Group 2: England, South Africa, USA, West Indies

When and where are the Super Eights and the final?

The Super Eights will be played from June 18 to June 25.

The tournament, which opened on June 2 at the Grand Prairie Stadium, Grand Prairie, Dallas, has moved from the United States and will now be fully played in the Caribbean. Four venues will be used in Barbados, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Saint Vincent.

The semifinals will be played on June 27 in Trinidad and Tobago and Guyana respectively. The final in Barbados will take place on June 29.

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[Al Jazeera]

Which are the biggest matches to watch out for in the Super Eights?

In an edition littered with shocks and upsets, including the biggest in the tournament’s history when USA beat Pakistan, every game appears to have an even greater value placed on it now.

The USA, much as they did in the group stage, will open the next round against South Africa on Wednesday. The Proteas claimed four wins from their four games in the group but each was a tight scrap rather than the stroll the table may suggest. Their top order has failed to fire and USA will bank on pushing another of the global cricketing giants all the way.

Fellow co-hosts West Indies, also one of our five pre-tournament favourites, face holders England in the second match of the Super Eights stage on Thursday. That is followed by India, the defeated finalist at the 2023 Cricket World Cup, against Afghanistan, now one of the dark horses for the trophy. Both matches are likely to set down the path that the two groups will take.

By the time England play South Africa on Friday, we could be looking at an eliminator for one of the powerhouses.

Australia must wait until Friday to begin their tournament and must beware of Bangladesh’s spinners in Antigua. The same will be true, if not more so, for Mitchell Marsh’s Aussies on Sunday when they face Afghanistan.

The key face-off in Group 1 will be in the final round of Super Eights matches between Australia against India – a repeat of the 2023 Cricket World Cup and Test Championship finals. It is a match that is likely to decide first and second in the group, and therefore, seedings for the semifinals.

Holders England follow up their opener against West Indies by facing South Africa in their second match before finishing against USA. The co-hosts’ match against the Proteas looks to be a clear eliminator by that stage – unless the USA can provide another upset when they face the defending champions.

Who are the favourites for the T20 World Cup 2024 semifinals?

India are the number one ranked T20 team. The tournament has been uncomfortable so far, though, and the matches against USA and Canada were more troublesome than hoped, while their Pakistan match went to the wire. Rohit Sharma’s men will be desperate to make up for the heartbreak of losing the 2023 Cricket World Cup final to Australia on home soil and will hope their players can take their form of the recently finished Indian Premier League into the final stages of this tournament.

Australia can become the undisputed kings of cricket if they can unify the world titles by lifting the T20 World Cup. The Aussies lifted the World Test Championship in 2023, beating India at the Oval, England, before retaining the Ashes on English soil and then completing a whirlwind year by beating India in Ahmedabad to be crowned 50-over champions. A clean sweep of Test, ODI and T20 titles would be the most remarkable turnaround for a team that was humiliated by the sandpaper ball-tampering controversy of 2018.

England’s defence of their T20 trophy looked as though it were heading for a similarly disastrous end as their 50-over title did last year. The washout in their opening game against Scotland was followed by a 36-run defeat by Australia and left them praying the weather was kind for their final two must-win matches against Oman and Namibia. The latter proved a nervy wait and a tight contest in a reduced match but Jos Buttler’s side scraped through. Carlos Brathwaite’s heroics in the last over of the 2016 final will still haunt the English when they come up against West Indies – both sides are targeting a record third T20 title – while the other Group 2 contenders South Africa can never be written off.

The Proteas seam attack is led by fit-again Anrich Nortje, who holds the best economy (5.02) of any bowler at a T20 World Cup, but they will have to shake their hoodoo of never making it past the semifinal stage of a major International Cricket Council (ICC) tournament. West Indies, meantime, cannot be written off but have yet to be truly tested at this edition after coming through a group with Uganda, Papua New Guinea and a desperately below-par New Zealand.

Here’s Al Jazeera’s quick walk through the history of the tournament.

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(Al Jazeera)

What are the fixtures in full for the Super Eights?

Group 1: Afghanistan vs India (June 20, Barbados), Australia vs Bangladesh (June 21, Antigua), India vs Bangladesh (June 22, Antigua), Afghanistan vs Australia (June 23, Saint Vincent), Australia vs India (June 24, Saint Lucia), Afghanistan vs Bangladesh (June 25, Saint Vincent)

Group 2: United States vs South Africa (June 19, Antigua), West Indies vs England (June 20, Saint Lucia), England vs South Africa (June 21, Antigua), West Indies vs United States (June 22, Barbados), United States vs England (June 23, Barbados), West Indies vs South Africa (June 24, Antigua)

How much is the prize money for the T20 World Cup?

The ICC has not confirmed the prize money for the 2024 edition of the tournament, but previous winners England walked away with $1.6m in 2022.

Where can I follow the T20 World Cup Super Eights?

The ICC has allotted rights to various broadcasting and online streaming outlets across the world.

Al Jazeera is running extensive coverage of the tournament with news, previews, key information, as well as live updates for all the biggest matches, followed by post-match reaction, analysis and everything else you’d need to know about the T20 World Cup.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies