The biggest rivalry of the modern day cricket will be back to the fore when India will open their ICC T20 World Cup campaign. The Virat Kohli-led Blue Brigade will be up against arch foes Pakistan in their tournament opener on October 24.
The two teams will be facing each other for the first time in more than two years, ever since India had thrashed Pakistan in the ICC World Cup match by 89 runs on June 16, 2019, at Manchester.
India do not play bilateral games with Pakistan due to neighbouring nation’s pro-militancy and anti-India policies.
In the qualifiers, the first match will feature hosts Oman against Papua New Guinea. The match will mark the beginning of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 at the Oman Cricket Academy Ground on 17 October.
The Super 12 stage will commence with a fixture between Australia and South Africa at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
The complete schedule, announced today by the International Cricket Council, confirms the highly anticipated match between former champions India and Pakistan will take place on 24 October at the Dubai International Stadium while Ashes rivals England and Australia play at the same venue six days later.
The West Indies, the only side to win the tournament twice, will also feature on the opening day of the Super 12s as they kick off their defence of the title in Dubai against England, top ranked in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s T20I Team Rankings.
Sri Lanka, champions in 2014, and Bangladesh, Ireland, Namibia, Netherlands Oman, PNG and Scotland, feature in Round 1 of the 16-team tournament, being hosted by India in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman through to 14 November. The top two teams from each group of Round 1 will make it to the Super 12s.
Abu Dhabi will be the venue of the first semi-final on 10 November while the other semi-final (11 November) and the final (14 November) will be played in Dubai.
Group A: Sri Lanka, Ireland, the Netherlands and Namibia
Group B: Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Oman
(Top two teams from each group advance to Super 12s)
Group 1: England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, A1 and B2.
Group 2: India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, A2 and B1.
(Top two teams from each group advance to the semi-finals)
17 Oct: Oman v Papua New Guinea, Muscat; Bangladesh v Scotland, Muscat
18 Oct: Ireland v Netherlands, Abu Dhabi; Sri Lanka v Namibia, Abu Dhabi
19 Oct: Scotland v PNG, Muscat; Oman v Bangladesh, Muscat
20 Oct: Namibia v Netherlands, Abu Dhabi; Sri Lanka v Ireland, Abu Dhabi
21 Oct: Bangladesh v Papua New Guinea, Muscat; Oman v Scotland, Muscat
22 Oct: Namibia v Ireland, Sharjah; Sri Lanka v Netherlands, Sharjah
23 Oct: Australia v South Africa, Abu Dhabi; England v West Indies, Dubai
24 Oct: A1 v B2, Sharjah; India v Pakistan, Dubai
25 Oct: Afghanistan v B1, Sharjah
26 Oct: South Africa v West Indies, Dubai; Pakistan v New Zealand, Sharjah
27 Oct: England v B2, Abu Dhabi; B1 v A2, Abu Dhabi
28 Oct: Australia v A1, Dubai
29 Oct: West Indies v B2, Sharjah; Pakistan v Afghanistan, Dubai
30 Oct: South Africa v A1, Sharjah; Australia v England, Dubai
31 Oct: Afghanistan v A2, Abu Dhabi; India v New Zealand, Dubai
1 Nov: England v A1, Sharjah
2 Nov: South Africa v B2, Abu Dhabi; Pakistan v A2, Abu Dhabi
3 Nov: New Zealand v B1, Dubai; India v Afghanistan, Abu Dhabi
4 Nov: Australia v B2, Dubai; West indies v A1, Abu Dhabi
5 Nov: New Zealand v A2, Sharjah; India v B1, Dubai
6 Nov: Australia v West Indies, Abu Dhabi; England v South Africa, Sharjah
7 Nov: New Zealand v Afghanistan, Abu Dhabi : Pakistan v B1, Sharjah
8 Nov: India v A2, Dubai
10 Nov: Semi-final 1 (A1 v B2), Abu Dhabi
11 Nov: Semi-final 2 (B1 v A2), Dubai
14 Nov: Final, Dubai
The seventh edition of the tournament comprises 16 teams and is being hosted by India in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. The tournament is being played at four venues – Dubai International Stadium, Oman Cricket Academy (Muscat), Sharjah Cricket Stadium and Zayed Cricket Stadium (Abu Dhabi).