India and Pakistan will meet in this year’s Twenty20 World Cup on October 24, the International Cricket Council said after the tournament’s schedules were postponed.
The 16-nation tournament, which will be hosted in the United Arab Emirates and Oman, will begin on October 17 with Oman taking on Papua New Guinea, followed by a round one encounter between Scotland and Bangladesh in the evening.
In the first round, the top two teams from Group A and Group B will progress to the Super 12 stage, where the game’s heavyweight countries will compete.
Defenders of the title The West Indies are in Group 1 alongside Australia, England, and South Africa, the 2010 champions. In Group 2, India and Pakistan are joined by New Zealand and Afghanistan.
On October 23, Australia will face South Africa, while the holders, the West Indies, will face England in Group 1 of the Super 12, which will determine the four semi-finalists.
However, the focus will be on the Group 2 match between India and Pakistan in Dubai, since the two nuclear-armed neighbours have rarely met in multi-nation tournaments owing to tensions over Kashmir, a disputed Himalayan region claimed by both nuclear-armed neighbours.
The Indian team, led by Virat Kohli, will have a busy itinerary leading up to the event [Glyn Kirk/AFP].
The two South Asian powers last played at the 2019 50-over World Cup in England, in which India triumphed, preserving their unbeaten World Cup record against Pakistan.
On October 30, England, the 2009 winners, will face Australia in another crucial match in Dubai.
The event, which the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will host, was initially scheduled to take place in Australia towards the end of 2020.
The coronavirus pandemic, however, forced the cancellation of the event.
It was originally set to take place in India this year, but it was rescheduled to the UAE and Oman after the South Asian country was struck by a major outbreak of the virus in April and May.
The matches will be contested at four different locations: the Dubai International Stadium, Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Sharjah Stadium, and the Oman Cricket Academy Ground.
During the ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 match between India and Pakistan in England, a Pakistani fan celebrates for her side. [AP Photo/Rui Vieira]
The Super 12 round will take place from October 23 to November 8, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the semifinals, which will be held on November 10 in Abu Dhabi and November 11 in Dubai.
The final will be held on November 14 in Dubai, with November 15 set aside as a reserve day.
The Indian team, led by Virat Kohli, will have a busy itinerary leading up to the event.
The Indian test team is now playing a series in England, and the majority of the players will return for the second part of the Indian Premier League, which will begin in the UAE next month after being halted in May due to the rise of COVID in India.
Kieron Pollard, the West Indies T20 captain, said his squad was looking forward to defending their championship after a year off.
He added, “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.”