T20 Cricket World Cup: Preview & Odds

  • T20 World Cup 2024 began on June 1 in West Indies and USA
  • India, predictably, start the tournament as +250 favorites
  • Read on for an analysis of all four groups in the tournament

All system go for the T20 World Cup

It’s finally upon us. The T20 Cricket World Cup is underway – a 20-team tournament being jointly hosted in the West Indies and US.

the sport is breaking new ground in the US

While the West Indies is, of course, a regular stomping ground for international cricket, the sport is breaking new ground in the US, which hosts a multi-nation tournament for the first time.

The tournament kicks off on June 1 in the Grand Prairie Stadium, Dallas when the USA meet Canada, and it concludes four weeks later on June 28, when the final takes place in the Kensington Oval, Bridgetown, Barbados.

From 20 down to the ‘Super’ 8

Ten different venues are being used – seven in the Caribbean, three in the US – in a competition that begins with a group stage of four pools of five. Each team in each pool will play each other in a round-robin format and the top two from each will then go through to what’s known as the Super 8 round.

The eight teams will be split into two groups of four who will again play each other in a round-robin format. The top two from each group will then qualify for the knockout stage – two semi-finals and the final.

In other words, whoever is going to win this tournament is going to have to work hard for it!

But who will that team be? And which teams will qualify from the first group stage?

Well, let’s take a look at both, starting with the group stage.


  • India
  • Pakistan
  • Ireland
  • USA
  • Canada

It almost goes without saying that India are overwhelming odds-on favorites to win the group. At -300, they don’t offer value for the bettors but any team that has a squad full of the best players from the IPL, including Virat Kohli, and is coached by Rahul Dravid and captained by Rohit Sharma is going to be a threat.

The Indians’ biggest challenge in the group will be their highly-charged meeting with Pakistan in New York on June 9. If they win that, they probably win the group.

Pakistan, who are listed at +250, will provide their usual mix of fiery, explosive talent alongside inconsistency and an ability to implode when the pressure is on. But if they click, they have the ability to beat anyone… even India.

With a pace attack of Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Haris Rauf, and Mohammad Amir, and an experienced opening pair of Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan they should never be underestimated.

it’s important not to think this group is merely a two-horse race

However, it’s important not to think this group is merely a two-horse race. For Ireland, who are listed at a tempting +1600, this is their eighth consecutive T20 World Cup and they improve with each one.

Captain Paul Stirling is an experienced international cricketer who has scored runs against the world’s best bowlers, and is backed up by some other explosive batters, including Andrew Balbirnie, Harry Tector, and Curtis Campher.

If Ireland’s bowling attack – including the pace of  Mark Adair and the spin of Ben White and Gareth Delany – can function well and give their batters realistic totals to chase, they could cause an upset.

For the USA. on home turf, this will be their first class ICC World Cup debut. But they have a useful-looking squad with a mix of homegrown and overseas-born players.

Monank Patel will captain the side and head their batting alongside Aaron Jones and Steven Taylor, while Pakistan-born pace bowler Ali Khan will head up their bowling attack.

Former New Zealand all-rounder Corey Anderson has recently joined the US ranks and will add strength to their bowling attack and middle order. Worth noting is that USA recently beat Bangladesh in a T20 warm-up game, so at +6600 they are well worth a modest punt.

Canada, like the USA, are about to make their T20 World Cup debut, although have featured in four 50-over World Cups with limited success.

The squad is a similar mix to the USA’s and they will lean heavily in the spin bowling skills of left-armer Saad Bin Zafar. Their pace bowling will be spearheaded by Jeremy Gordon.

At +10000 to win the group, their expectations are low and they will have been disappointed with their performance in their opening game against the USA where they were beaten by seven wickets.

Group A Pick : Pakistan (+250)


  • Australia
  • England
  • Namibia
  • Scotland
  • Oman

The 2022 competition was a disappointment for Australia who, on home soil, failed to make it into the knockout phase of the tournament. They will be looking to make amends this time around. With good reason they are -125 favorites to win the group.

they have their top players in good form

With batter Travis Head and bowlers Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins all shining in the recent IPL, they have their top players in good form, which is an ominous sign for the rest.

The only Aussie to disappoint in the IPL was Glenn Maxwell, who will be hoping to turn around his form. Realistically, their clash with England in Barbados on June 8 could decide the group winner.

For England, who won the 2022 T20 World Cup on Australian soil, there is considerable pressure; not only because they are the holders of the trophy but also because they imploded badly in the ODI World Cup last autumn.

Captain Jos Buttler will be hoping for some good form with the bat and that the return of Jofra Archer, after nearly two seasons out through injury, will reinvigorate his bowling attack.

If both of those things happen, England not only have a shot at winning Group B, but of also going all the way. At even money to win the group, they offer little value to bettors.   

Namibia are third-favorites to win Group B at a generous +5000 but also come into the tournament in good form.

six wins in the African Regional Qualifier stage

While relatively unknown, they managed six wins in the African Regional Qualifier stage, including victories over both Zimbabwe and Uganda – two nations who are ranked higher than them.

They will rely heavily on the skills and power of David Wiese – a South African-born all-rounder – but he will be well supported by the likes of JJ Smit, a left-arm bowler, and all-rounder Gerhard Erasmus.

As ever, Scotland will be targeting their opener against England on June 4. To spring a huge surprise on their ‘auld enemy’ would get their tournament off to a flier.

They have experienced the T20 World Cup before and have markedly improved in terms of quality in recent years. Led by Richie Berrington, they have some experienced internationals in their ranks, and in Mark Watt have a batter who successfully went after the West Indian and Sri Lankan bowlers in the 2022 T20 World Cup qualifiers.

Oman, the only Asian team in Group B, will be big underdogs – as reflected in their odds of +10000.

Aqib Ilyas, who was recently been appointed captain, will look to impress with both bat and ball, while former skipper Zeeshan Maqsood will continue to be one of the team’s most influential players.

Group B Pick: England (+100)


  • West Indies
  • New Zealand
  • Afghanistan   
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Uganda

Home advantage is expected to count for the West Indies. Fanatical home support and batting tracks to their liking will put the hosts in pole position to win Group C. The bookies think so too, listing them at +125 to win the group.

They will be hoping to put a disappointing 2022 tournament behind them and with most of their key players fit and available are expecting big things on home soil.

Led by Rovman Powell and with the exciting talent of breakthrough fast bowler Shamar Joseph in their ranks, this looks like a West Indie squad capable of going all the way and replicating their T20 World Cup triumph of 2016.  

a game against the minnows of Uganda should work in their favor

A nervy but successful opener against Papua New Guinea and then a game against the minnows of Uganda should work in their favor.

On paper, the Windies biggest rivals in Group C will be New Zealand, who the bookies have pitched at +150 to win it.

Their squad is largely unchanged from the 2022 tournament, and is crammed full of experience and talent, and includes veteran performers like Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, and Lockie Ferguson.

Alongside the old-timers, they also have some talented youngsters coming through – like Rachin Ravindra and Finn Allen – and are well capable of going deep in this tournament.

This group has the possibility of being a three-way battle, with a strong-looking Afghanistan team – ranked 10th in the world – looking to also have a realistic chance of making it through to the Super 8. They are listed at +300 to win the group.

Their strength is in their spin bowling department, which has been bolstered by the return of the mercurial talent of Rashid Khan after an injury layoff. He is joined in the spin department by Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Noor Ahmad, Nangyal Kharoti, and Mohammad Nabi.

If Afghanistan find the pitches to their liking, they will be dangerous opponents.

This will be Papua New Guinea’s second T20 World Cup appearance and they enter it in good form. They won all six of their qualifiers and have won 14 of their last 19 games.  

They are led by the experienced all-rounder Assad Vala, who they will need to do well with both bat and ball if they are to compete against the top nations.

the bookies give PNG virtually no chance of winning or qualifying for the Super8

At +6600, the bookies give PNG virtually no chance of winning or qualifying for the Super8, but a win over Uganda and taking Afghanistan to the wire would be a good result.

Uganda are Group C’s outsiders by some distance and are pitched at +15000 to win the group. Their big achievement was qualifying for this competition in the first place.

They won five of their six qualifying games, including a big win over Rwanda in their final African qualifier, and have won 41 of their last 49 games. Most of these games will not have been against top tier opponents though, and games against the likes of West Indies and New Zealand offer a different challenge.

They have a squad that relies heavily on experience and includes Brian Masaba and Alpesh Ramjani.     

Group C Pick: West Indies (+125)


  • South Africa
  • Sri Lanka
  • Bangladesh
  • Netherlands
  • Nepal

In soccer terms, this one is the ‘group of death’ – one that has a greater degree of jeopardy than the other three.

South Africa start as big favorites though – as short as -161 – and on paper have one of the strongest line-ups in the tournament. A batting line-up that includes Quinton de Kock, Aiden Markram, and Heinrich Klaasen – all of whom have impressed in the recent IPL – is explosive and has the capability to take them the whole way.  

This is backed up by a bowling attack of Kagiso Rabada and Anrich Nortje for pace, and the spin skills of Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi. If they click they can beat any team in this tournament.

Second favorites in Group D are Sri Lanka, who are led by Wanindu Hasaranga. While it may not contain the explosiveness and big names of Sri Lankan teams of the past, this is a well-balanced outfit that is capable of springing a surprise. They will have been disappointed to lose their opener to the South Africans.

Angelo Mathews will provide some much needed solidity in the middle order

At +333 to win the group, their odds reflect the huge challenge they face. Their form coming into the tournament had been good, with batters Kusal Mendis and Pathum Nissanka among the runs. Experienced all-rounder Angelo Mathews will provide some much needed solidity in the middle order.

Battling Sri Lanka all the way will be a talented Bangladesh team, who are listed at +500 to win the group. They are, however, not in very good form and have a few injury doubts to key players. Much will depend on if Taskin Ahmed can win his fitness battle.

They have a new captain in Najmul Hossain Shanto, who will rely heavily on the experience of Mahmudullah and Shakib Al Hasat.

The wild card in Group D is the Netherlands who are listed at +1000. They have recent form in giant-killing, having beaten South Africa in each of their last two ICC tournaments. They will aim to make it a hattrick on June 8.

Their key players are skipper Scott Edwards and all-rounder Bas de Leede, their leading wicket-taker in the 2022 T20 World Cup. While they may not win the group, they will win some games.

Finally, Nepal – the youngest team in the tournament who are led by its youngest captain, 21-year-old Rohit Paudel. Their odds of +10000 are a realistic appraisal of their chances, but the experience for them will be invaluable.

Among their talented young players, look out for Gulshan Jha and Pratis GC. This is their second appearance in a T20 finals tournament.

Group D Pick: South Africa  (-161)

Who’s going to win it?

Don’t be surprised if, despite a few shock results along the way, the Super 8 consists of the eight teams favored by the bookies. It’s one thing for the Netherlands to turn over a leading nation in a one-off game but to churn out the three or more wins needed looks tricky.

against the very best they may come unstuck

The West Indies will be a major force on home soil and could make it through to the semifinals, but against the very best they may come unstuck.

For me, the South Africans are the team to beat, albeit Australia (+350), England (+450), and India (+250 fav) all have the players capable of winning the tournament.

But if the South Africans who did well recently in the IPL – like Heinrich Klaasen – can carry that fine form through to the T20 World Cup, the +700 on offer looks great value.

Pick – To win the 2024 T20 World Cup: South Africa (+700)

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