Mens T20 World Cup: India to face Pakistan in first match
The T20 World Cup was scheduled to be held between October 18 and November 15. Photo: PTI (File)

Men's T20 World Cup: India to face Pakistan in first match

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India will face Pakistan in their opening match of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Dubai, on October 24.

India’s second match will be against New Zealand on October 31, and the next match will be against Afghanistan on November 3, according to the schedule announced by Indian Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday.

India’s remaining two Super 12 matches will be against the winner of Group B and second placed side of Group A, on November 5 and November 8 respectively.

The tournament’s first round will kick off on October 17 with Oman taking on Papua New Guinea in Oman.

Group A consists of 2014 champions Sri Lanka, Ireland, the Netherlands and Namibia, while Group B has Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Oman. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super 12 stage.

Also read: T20 World Cup set to be moved out of India, ICC intimated internally

The Super 12, which will be the second round of the tournament, will begin on October 23, in two groups, with Australia facing South Africa in Abu Dhabi, and England up against title holders and two-time champions, West Indies, in Dubai.

The semi-finals will be played in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, on November 10 and November 11 respectively. The final will be held in Dubai on November 14.

The tournament is being hosted by India in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman since a third wave of the COVID-19 is being anticipated in India at that time.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam is looking forward to kickstart their campaign and said his side will feel at home in UAE conditions having played there on consistent basis.

“For Pakistan, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 is like a home event as the UAE has been our venue for more than a decade. We have not only nurtured our talent and developed our side in the UAE but have also beaten the top sides in these conditions to peak to number-one in the ICC T20I Team Rankings,” Azam said.

“All the players are excited, motivated and enthusiastic, and view this tournament as an opportunity to showcase our prowess and re-establish our superiority in the shortest format of the game in conditions that suit us best,” the Pakistani captain added. Azam also said that it would his first major ICC event as the captain of Pakistan.

Also read: Ravi Shastri, other key members of Team India to leave after T20 World Cup

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said that he is eager to defend their 2016 title. The Windies had won the 2016 T20 World Cup after defeating England in the pulsating final in Eden Gardens, where Carlos Brathwaite smashed four sixes off the last over to turn the tables in their favour.

“We have a particularly interesting Super 12 group, which sees us come up against Australia, England and South Africa. We can’t wait to get started! West Indian cricketers have always played an exciting brand of cricket and I am sure our fans in the Caribbean and all over the world are highly anticipating seeing us in action,” Pollard said.

England captain Eoin Morgan said that he expects the T20 World Cup to be a closely-contested event. “The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is going to be brilliant. The standard of T20 cricket around the world is improving exponentially and every nation has a chance of becoming World Champions. It should be one of the closest and most competitive world tournaments to date and we can’t wait to get started,” Morgan said.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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