In February 2023 the Cricket Association of Thailand hosted the 50-over ACC Men’s Challenger Cup in Bangkok which was a qualifying tournament for the ACC Premier Cup and a pathway event leading up to the 50-over Asia Cup.
Now in 2024 it is time for the CAT to host a T20 International tournament, the ACC Men’s Challenger Cup, staged over 20 overs, and again the two finalists will qualify for the Premier Cup and that tournament will provide a pathway to the T20 Asia Cup in 2025.
This is all part of a network of men’s and women’s tournaments, together with age group tournaments, provided by the Asian Cricket Council for countries across Asia so that even the lowest ranked men’s or women’s country can see a pathway to the Asia Cup at various levels.
Play gets underway on Saturday 27th January at TCG with the first match of a three-team qualifying competition to decide the eighth team in the main draw. Cambodia compete with China and Myanmar in the qualifier and Cambodia are playing in an ACC tournament for the first time having gained Associate membership of the ICC in 2022.
The winner of the qualifier will move on into Group A of the main tournament and play matches against Saudia Arabia, Indonesia and Bhutan, while in Group B, Singapore, Maldives, Thailand and Japan compete with the top two teams in each group reaching the semi-finals.
Thailand were able to reach the semi-finals of the 2023 Challenger Cup so were one win away from reaching the Premier Cup at 50-over level so the hosts will again be hopeful of giving a good account of themselves in the 20-over format.