Though they still epitomise the fairytale stories that can sometimes happen in sport, Afghanistan are now genuine contenders in their own right, story or no story. They are firmly established as the second best Associate behind Ireland, and I expect them to perform as such. However, a recent loss to Kenya in the format will have forced them to take this tournament extremely seriously, not that they wouldn't anyway.
They have been drawn in Group B, which is generally accepted to be the "Group of Death". They face three other teams with ODI status before they reach the playoffs, not to mention Nepal. Things won't come on a plate this year.
Possible Squad: Javed Ahmadi, Mirwais Ashraf, Nasim Baras, Izatullah Dawlatzai, Hamid Hassan, Hamza Hotak, Nawroz Mangal, Mohammad Nabi (c), Gulbodin Naib, Karim Sadiq, Mohammad Shahzad, Samiullah Shenwari, Asghar Stanikzai, Dawlat Zadran, Shapoor Zadran
How Bermuda's star has fallen. Once upon a time, they were Associate giants, bearers of ODI status and travellers to the last 16-team world event. A little over five years on, they're in World Cricket League freefall, and are almost certainly the weakest side in the competition. They will send out a squad littered with some of the usual names, like David Hemp, with a few youngsters (like Kamau Leverock) thrown in.
Unfortunately for them, it will take an enormous battle for them to finish anywhere other than the very bottom of the "Group of Death", but it should be a good learning experience for the likes of Leverock. If they are to win anything, they will need the hitting of Lionel Cann and Dion Stovell to absolutely cut loose. Sadly though, the players in the squad - and there are quite a few - with ODI experience aren't as young as they once were.
Confirmed Squad: Kamal Bashir, Derrick Brangman, Christian Burgess, Lionel Cann, Allan Douglas Jnr, Christopher Douglas, Terryn Fray, David Hemp, Malachi Jones, Kamau Leverock, Tre Manders, Jacobi Robinson, Dion Stovell, Janeiro Tucker (c), Kwame Tucker
Canada are a curious case. Despite the fact that they routinely struggle for years at a time, they generally save their best for rankings tournaments. It is this which has seen them play in no less than four World Cups, despite rarely ruffling anyone's feathers. One player they will wish they could develop a time machine to select is John Davison, whose name brings back memories of whirlwind hundreds.
Not that there isn't a good amount of talent turning out for Canada. Ashish Bagai is back, while newcomers like Daesrath and Kamyuka add ability and experience. Progression from Group A is almost guaranteed for Canada, although I would be surprised if they make it all the way to Bangladesh. Abzal Dean will be wanting to build on his single, moderately successful, T20 cap against Sri Lanka in 2008.
Confirmed Squad: Ashish Bagai (c), Harvir Baidwan, Rizwan Cheema, Damodar Daesrath, Abzal Dean, Jeremy Gordon, Ruvindu Gunasekera, Jimmy Hansra, Kenneth Kamyuka, Usman Limbada, Henry Osinde, Hiral Patel, Raza ur-Rehman, Junaid Siddiqui, Hamza Tariq
Denmark were the runners up in their regional qualifier, and that they got that far was largely thanks to the sensational form of Freddie Klokker. He's as destructive on his day as anyone their opponents will have to offer, but one man alone cannot script a successful campaign for his side. He will need support.
That support seemed for a while as if it would come from Kent & England's Amjad Khan, who has now spent long enough away from the England side to be eligible to play once again for the country of his birth. However, he is not present on the squad list released by the Danish board, which leaves the bowling looking considerably weaker than their hitter-strewn batting. I can see the games involving Denmark being pretty high-scoring, but in the oft-mentioned "Group of Death", I can't see many of them falling towards Scandinavia.
Confirmed Squad: Aftab Ahmed, Christo Botma, Yasir Iqbal, Basit Javeed, Frederik Klokker, Pawan Kumar, Kamran Mahmood, Rizwan Mahmood, Carsten Pedersen, Michael Pedersen(c), Jacob Rubin, Kasper Rubin, Bashir Shah, Hamid Shah