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DUBAI: The ICC today announced fixtures for the marquee tournament on Tuesday here at the world’s cricket governing body’s headquarters.
According to ICC press statement the event will begin with the Round 1 Group B encounter between hosts Oman and Papua New Guinea at 2 pm local time on October 17, with Scotland and Bangladesh, the other teams in Group B, meeting in the evening match at 6 pm.
Ireland, Netherlands, Sri Lanka and Namibia – making up Group A – will be in action in Abu Dhabi the next day, with Round 1 matches running till 22 October. The top two teams in each group will proceed to the Super 12 stage of the tournament, beginning on 23 October.
The second round of the tournament – the Super12 stage – will get underway in Abu Dhabi on October 23, with the Group 1 contest between Australia and South Africa. This will be followed up with an evening clash between England and West Indies in Dubai.
Old rivals England and Australia will lock horns in Dubai on 30 October. The group will conclude on 6 November with matches between Australia and West Indies in Abu Dhabi, and England and South Africa in Sharjah. Meanwhile Group 2 will commence with a heavyweight clash between India and Pakistan in Dubai on 24 October at 6pm local time. Pakistan then take on New Zealand in Sharjah on 26 October, in a tough start for the 2009 champions. Afghanistan begin their campaign on 25 October at Sharjah, taking on the winners of Group B from the first round.
The group will conclude on 8 November, with India taking on the second-placed Round 1 qualifier from Group A.
The first semi-final will be held in Abu Dhabi on 10 November at 6pm local time. The second semi-final will be hosted by Dubai on 11 November. Both semi-finals have reserve days.
The marquee clash of the tournament will take place in Dubai at 6pm local time on 14 November, Sunday, with Monday acting as the reserve day for the final.
Oman will take on Papua New Guinea in the opening match of the event at the Oman Cricket Academy Ground on October 17 while the Super 12 stage commences with a fixture between Australia and South Africa at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
The complete schedule, announced by the ICC confirms the highly anticipated match between former champions India and Pakistan will take place on October 24 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 November 14. 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 November 10 while the other semi-final (November 11) and the final (November 14) will be played in Dubai. All day matches are scheduled for 14h00 local time and the day-night matches are slated for 18h00 local time.
West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is promising exciting cricket, the type that helped them defeat England in a pulsating final at the Eden Gardens in 2016 with Carlos Brathwaite blasting four consecutive sixes in the last over to turn the tables on 2010 champions England.
West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said, “We are excited to begin defence of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title later this year. T20 cricket is dynamic and the international scene is highly competitive, with players constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation and we are expecting a spectacular event in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
“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.”
Pakistan captain Babar Azam said, “The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 schedule announcement brings us one step forward in our preparations for this much-awaited global tournament. We will utilise the build-up period by playing in home series against New Zealand and England and will not only aim to fine-tune our final outlook but also win as many matches as possible so that we can carry that winning form and momentum to the United Arab Emirates.
“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.
“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.
“From a personal point of view, this will be my first ICC Major Event as Pakistan captain. I tasted success in 2017 and suffered disappointment in 2019 when we missed out on a semi-final spot by a fraction of a point despite beating both the finalists in league matches. I remain focused in inspiring my side with my performances so that we can become the first Pakistan side to win an ICC Major Event in Asia.”
England captain Eoin Morgan said: “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.”
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson: “After so much disruption to world sport due to the pandemic it feels like there’s a lot of excitement about this T20 World Cup.
“It’s always a highly competitive event with every team possessing match-winners who can turn games quickly.
“I think we’ve got a pretty well-balanced side with a good mix of exciting new talent and some experience.
“We saw in last year’s IPL in the UAE that surfaces can change over the course of a tournament and seam bowling as well as spin can work in the conditions.
“We’ve got a strong pool with India, Pakistan and Afghanistan so far. All teams are strong which make way for an exciting competition “I know our guys are really looking forward to another world event and being able to represent New Zealand on the global stage in these challenging times.
“Tournament play is unique and hopefully we can adapt to what’s in front of us and try and gain some momentum.”
Oman captain Zeeshan Maqsood said: “I extend a warm welcome to all teams who will be playing in our country in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to be turning out in a global ICC event on our home ground – to show the world what we are capable of as players and as a venue.
“Our preparations are on track under the guidance of coach Duleep Mendis and we aim to be at our best, come October 17. In our group we will be playing against Bangladesh, Scotland and Papua New Guinea. All these teams are very skillful, and we are looking forward to competing against them to the best of our ability. I’m sure there will be thrills aplenty in the much-awaited tournament.”
The media release for the group announcements is available here.
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 (14h); Bangladesh v Scotland, Muscat (18h)
18 Oct: Ireland v Netherlands, Abu Dhabi (14h); Sri Lanka v Namibia, Abu Dhabi (18h)
19 Oct: Scotland v PNG, Muscat (14h); Oman v Bangladesh, Muscat (18h)
20 Oct: Namibia v Netherlands, Abu Dhabi (14h); Sri Lanka v Ireland, Abu Dhabi (18h)
21 Oct: Bangladesh v Papua New Guinea, Muscat (14h); Oman v Scotland, Muscat (18h)
22 Oct: Namibia v Ireland, Sharjah (14h); Sri Lanka v Netherlands, Sharjah (18h)
23 Oct: Australia v South Africa, Abu Dhabi (14h); England v West Indies, Dubai (18h)
24 Oct: A1 v B2, Sharjah (14h); India v Pakistan, Dubai (18h)
25 Oct: Afghanistan v B1, Sharjah (18h)
26 Oct: South Africa v West Indies, Dubai (14h); Pakistan v New Zealand, Sharjah (18h)
27 Oct: England v B2, Abu Dhabi (14h); B1 v A2, Abu Dhabi (18h)
28 Oct: Australia v A1, Dubai (18h)
29 Oct: West Indies v B2, Sharjah (14h); Pakistan v Afghanistan, Dubai (18h)
30 Oct: South Africa v A1, Sharjah (14h); Australia v England, Dubai (18h)
31 Oct: Afghanistan v A2, Abu Dhabi (14h); India v New Zealand, Dubai (18h)
1 Nov: England v A1, Sharjah (18h)
2 Nov: South Africa v B2, Abu Dhabi (14h); Pakistan v A2, Abu Dhabi (18h)
3 Nov: New Zealand v B1, Dubai (14h00); India v Afghanistan, Abu Dhabi (18h)
4 Nov: Australia v B2, Dubai (14h); West indies v A1, Abu Dhabi (18h
5 Nov: New Zealand v A2, Sharjah (14h); India v B1, Dubai (18h)
6 Nov: Australia v West Indies, Abu Dhabi (14h); England v South Africa, Sharjah (18h)
7 Nov: New Zealand v Afghanistan, Abu Dhabi (14h): Pakistan v B1, Sharjah (18h)
8 Nov: India v A2, Dubai (18h)
10 Nov: Semi-final 1 (A1 v B2), Abu Dhabi (18h)
11 Nov: Semi-final 2 (B1 v A2), Dubai (18h)
14 Nov: Final, Dubai (18h).