India to take on Pakistan in T20 World Cup tie
India and Pakistan have been clubbed together and will meet in the Super 12s stage of the T20 World Cup, which will be held between October 17 and November 14 in the UAE and Oman. This will be the first face-off between the two arch-rivals since their 2019 ODI World Cup meeting in Manchester.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the groups for the first round and the Super 12s during the launch event in Muscat on Friday, which was attended by, among others, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah. BCCI remains the hosts for the global event despite it being moved out of India because of the pandemic.
The schedule for the 16-team tournament is expected to be finalised shortly. The India-Pakistan clash will be the most high-profile match of the group stage.
The first-round matches will be split between two groups and will be played in the UAE and Oman. Group A includes Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands and Namibia; Group B has Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Oman.
The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super 12s, which will be played in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah.
The Super 12s groups have been selected on the basis of team rankings as of March 20, 2021. Defending champions West Indies are in Group 1 along with England, Australia and South Africa, with two qualifiers from the first round joining them.
Group 2 comprises former champions India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan and the other two qualifiers from the first round.
While Sri Lanka and Bangladesh automatically qualified for the first round by virtue of their rankings, the remaining six booked their spot through the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019.
India and Pakistan have met five times in the T20 World Cup with Pakistan failing to come up trumps even once. Their first meeting during the inaugural edition in 2007 ended in a tie with India prevailing in the subsequent bowl-out in Durban. The Indians have been clear winners on the four other occasions in Johannesburg (2007), Colombo (2012), Mirpur (2014) and Calcutta (2016).
An ICC team is already in Oman to inspect the venues.
“It is good to get Oman in the frame of world cricket with the hosting of the ICC T20 World Cup,” Sourav said. “It will help a lot of young players take an interest in the game.”