In the group draw announcement made by the International Cricket Council (ICC) for its upcoming T20 World Cup 2021, India and Pakistan will meet in T20 cricket for the first time in 5 years as they have been placed in Group 2 of the Super 12 stage. The event will be hosted by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in Oman and United Arab Emirates from October 17 to November 14.
“The groups , selected on the basis of team rankings as of 20 March 2021, see defending champions the West Indies pooled along with former champions England , Australia and South Africa in Group 1 of the Super 12s , with two qualifiers from Round 1 joining them ,” the ICC said in a statement. The last T20 match played between the two teams was in 2016 at Eden Gardens, Kolkata during T20 World Cup.
India and Pakistan have played each other in all ICC events since the 2011 World Cup, including the 2012 World T20, 2013 Champions Trophy, 2014 World T20, 2015 World Cup , the World T20 in 2016 , twice in the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017 and the 2019 World Cup. India lost to only one game, while the only ICC tournament they did not face each other in was the recently-concluded World Test Championships.
India and Pakistan will be joined by New Zealand , Afghanistan and two other qualifiers from Round 1, while group 1 features two-time and reigning champions West Indies along with Australia, England and South Africa and two other qualifiers. Non-Test playing nations Netherlands, Namibia, Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Oman will also have a chance of making it through to the Super 12s.
Initially scheduled to take place in at the end of 2020, the competition will be held across four venues – the Dubai International Stadium, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Stadium, and the Oman Cricket Academy Ground. Due to COVID-19, the venues were changed but the BCCI, who took over the hosting rights from CA, will host the tournament as it was set to be played in India this year.
“There is nothing that separates the two groups as both are packed with sides that are highly competitive in the shortest format of the game,” said BCCI secretary Jay Shah. “Having said that, the exciting T20 format is known for its surprises, and we must be prepared for the same. I am sure we will witness some exciting and nail-biting games.”
“There are some great match ups 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,” said ICC’s acting CEO Geoff Allardice. “There is no doubt we will witness some highly competitive cricket when the event gets underway in just three months.”
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