Kenya and the Netherlands will get the short, sharp tournament off to an exciting start in Stormont as the picturesque Belfast venue will host three matches per day culminating in the final on the Monday afternoon.
At stake, apart from the pride of being the top Associate team in this form of the game, will be a place in the ICC World Twenty20 2009 being staged in England. Both finalists from this event will qualify for the big one which will take place at Lord's, the Oval and Trent Bridge next June.
The WT20 Qualifier involves two groups of three teams playing a total of nine matches over three days. Ireland, Scotland and Bermuda make up Group A while Kenya, the Netherlands and Canada will fight it out for supremacy of Group B.
This is the first tournament of its kind in Associate cricket and some of the participating teams have not played Twenty20 Internationals before so there is no Twenty20 ranking system for these teams.
For this reason, the seedings were decided on the basis of how the teams stood in the ICC ODI rankings, the cut-off date being February 2, six months before the start of the tournament.
As such, with Ireland placed 10th on the Reliance Mobile ICC ODI Championship table it is the top-ranked Associate ODI side in the world and the number-one seed for this event. Kenya is seeded second followed by Scotland, Netherlands, Canada and Bermuda in that order.
Although this is essentially a three-day event, a fourth day has been set aside as a reserve day in the event of rain.
The WT20 Qualifier is part of a busy international calendar for many of the top Associate sides. All six teams will be involved in ODI series at some stage over the next three months while each of them, apart from Kenya, also has ICC Intercontinental Cup fixtures coming up before the end of August.
ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier Belfast, Ireland Groupings:
Group A: Ireland (1), Scotland (3), Bermuda (6)
Group B: Kenya (2), Netherlands (4), Canada (5)
Day 1: (August 2) Group B - Kenya v Netherlands Group A - Ireland v Scotland Group B - Netherlands v Canada
Day 2: (August 3) Group B - Scotland v Bermuda Group A - Kenya v Canada Group B - Ireland v Bermuda
Day 3: (August 4) First Semi-final: Group A winner v Group B runner-up Second Semi-final: Group A runner-up v Group B winner Final
Day 4: (August 5) Reserve day