Fans waiting to see India and Pakistan cross swords have been treated with a piece of soothing news as the two arch-rivals are locked in same group for T20 World Cup, ensuring a clash between the two neighbours in the Super 12s round. The subcontinent giants are clubbed with New Zealand, Afghanistan and two qualifier teams in Group 2. England, South Africa, Australia, West Indies and two qualifier teams will comprise Group 1.
Two Test playing nations, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka will have to go through a qualifying tournament to secure a spot in the T20 World Cup. Sri Lanka have been pooled with Ireland, Netherlands and Namibia in Group A while Bangladesh will take on Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Oman in Group B. The groups were formed considering the teams’ T20 rankings as of March 20, 2021. The qualifying teams, barring Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, sealed their place in qualifiers via ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in 2019 while the top 8 ranked teams secured automatic qualifications.
“We are delighted to announce the groups for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. There are some great matchups offered by the groups and it starts to bring the event to life for our fans as our first multi-team event since the onset of the global pandemic draws closer,” ICC Acting Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said.
“Given the disruption caused by COVID-19, we selected the cutoff date as close as possible to the event to ensure we were able to include the maximum amount of cricket in the rankings which determine the groups. There is no doubt we will witness some highly competitive cricket when the event gets underway in just three months.”
The tournament that was postponed for a year and then was moved to UAE due to COVID-19 concerns is set to kick off on October 17, with the final being played on November 14. The matches will be played at four venues – Dubai International Stadium, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah Stadium, and Oman Cricket Academy Ground. While Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah will be used for the main round, the qualifying matches are likely to be staged in Oman. The fixtures and full schedule will be announced soon.