Scotland have a team packed with all-rounders, which suits the Twenty20 format very well. This was made abundantly clear last year when they defeated Bangladesh on the back of a fantastic Richie Berrington century. Since then, there has also been an influx of talent that has seen Matt Machan and Iain Wardlaw become particularly established in the team.
In addition, two of the Scottish squad were part of the triumphant Northamptonshire Steelbacks in this year's Friends Life T20. Kyle Coetzer was particularly influential at the top of the order, and if he could reproduce the form that saw him collect over 300 runs in that competition, his countrymen would apreciate it. Aside from Preston Mommsen's absence, the Scots are at full strength.
Squad: Richie Berrington, Neil Carter, Kyle Coetzer (C), Matt Cross, Gordon Goudie, Majid Haq, Moneeb Iqbal, Michael Leask, Matt Machan, Calum MacLeod, David Murphy, Safyaan Sharif, Rob Taylor, Craig Wallace, Iain Wardlaw
Unfortunately, I can't say that Uganda have filled me with confidence lately. They may have breezed through their regional qualifiers, losing only one of their two games against Kenya, but they still looked somewhat shaky. For instance, if Botswana bowled them out for only 86, then what could the Irish bowlers do?
Every team is entitled to implode once in a while, though, and Pakistan are entitled to do so far more often. Among the men hoping to stop them doing so are Arthur Kyobe and Roger Mukasa, the perennial batting lynch-pins for Uganda. If they can get enough runs to make a contest, then Henry Ssenyondo's classy left-arm spin will be vital in making sure that the opposition fall short. In all, I'm sorry to say that I expect Uganda to really struggle this time around.
Squad: Davis Arinaitwe (C), Hamu Bagenda, Arthur Kyobe, Hamza Saleh, Brian Masaba, Roger Mukasa, Abram Mutyagaba, Frank Nsubuga, Patrick Ochan, Richard Okia, Raymond Otim, Jonathan Sebanja, Mpho Selowa, Henry Ssenyondo, Charles Waiswa
The United Arab Emirates have come a long way in the last year or two. They were expected to be also-rans in the WCL Championship, but instead came within touching distance of an automatic World Cup berth. They have numerous classy players in the side, like Shaiman Anwar and the apparently ageless Khurram Khan. These are matchwinning players, and if they can fire at the business end of the tournament, then there should be very little to stop the UAE making it to Bangladesh.
But I've already predicted all six of my qualifiers, which means I must have my doubts in the Emiratis. First and foremost, their record in this format is far from glowing; they missed the last tournament after finishing behind Oman in their regional competition. Additionally, they re a rather old side. I wonder if this may translate to them being slightly vulnerable in the field. Finally, there's the abundance of inexperience in the side, and I just don't think there are enough calm heads in the side to see them through the playoffs. I may, of course, be dead wrong.
Squad: Saqib Ali, Shaiman Anwar, Muhammad Azam, Nasir Aziz, Amjad Javed, Khurram Khan (C), Asim Kurshid, Rohan Mustafa, Muhammad Naveed, Swapnil Patil, Ahmed Raza, Abdul Shakoor, Kamran Shahzad, Shadeep Silva, Mohammad Shafiq
Alphabetically last in the tournament, the United States boast two Test players in their ranks. Adam Sanford and skipper Neil McGarrell both played for the West Indies many moons ago. while there are rumours that Steven Taylor may look to further his career by moving to the Caribbean. There would have been another ex-ODI player amongst them, but Steve Massiah was unable to get time off work, and replaced by the far less illustrious Fahad Babar.
The "first fifteen names we pluck from thin air" American selection policy has produced a very different squad from previous events. There are players studying, working and just generally not getting on with USACA which all leads to a squad with no less than ten changes from eighteen months ago. You can't beat continuity in selection.
Squad: Timroy Allen, Danial Ahmed, Imran Awan, Fahad Babar, Barrington Bartley, Orlando Baker, Akeem Dodson, Karan Ganesh, Muhammad Ghous, Elmore Hutchinson, Neil McGarrell (C), Japen Patel, Adam Sanford, Srinivasa Santhanam, Steven Taylor
Which brings my preview to a close. If all of my predictions pan out, then it will be Ireland, Afghanistan, Scotland, Netherlands, Namibia and Kenya who will head off to Bangladesh in the hope of winning a place in the main tournament. But my predictions are rarely correct. Hong Kong, the UAE, Nepal, PNG, Canada and even Italy all have realistic chances of ruffling the feathers of the two African nations and the Dutch. Basically, I have no idea what's going to happen, but intend to sit back and enjoy it when it does.