After more than two years, the arch rivals Pakistan and India are set to come face to face in the group stage of the Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. As per ICC’s latest pronouncements, both teams, together with New Zealand and Afghanistan have been listed in the same group.
The International Cricket Council ICC announced the groups for the first round and the Super 12s stage of the tournament, which is the first multi-team event that the cricket body will organize since the COVID-19 pandemic. The first-round matches will be split between two groups, with the games to be hosted in the UAE and Oman.
As revealed by ICC, Group A comprises of Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands and Namibia. Meanwhile Group B has Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Oman. The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super 12s of ICC T20 World Cup 2021.
The big ticket tournament will be played in the three UAE centers, which are Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. The matches prior to T20 World cup 2021 was earlier to be hosted in Australia. However, owing to the covid19 protocols, the matches were shifted to aforementioned destinations.
Moreover, teams in the super 12s have also been divided into two groups, based on their standings in point tables. Hence, team green and team blue, the Pakistan and India respectively, have been pooled in the same group, group 2. Besides, Pakistan and India, other teams in group 2 include New Zealand, Afghanistan and two qualifiers – B1 and A2. Whereas, Group 1 has defending champions West Indies along with England, Australia and South Africa and the other two qualifiers – A1 and B2.
In line with ICC, the groups were decided on the basis of team rankings of March 2021. Hence, previously, India and Pakistan were listed in different groups of ICC men’s T20 World cup 2021, on account of their positions that were No. 1 and No. 2 in the ICC T20I rankings at the time of the deadline. That would have been the first time the two teams would not have contested in the group stage of a global tournament since the 2011 50-over World Cup.
Nevertheless, now the two big rivalries of cricket universe, team India and Team Pakistan will face off in the cricket grounds, and the news is enough to exhilarate the cricket fans of both nations. The tournament will kick in from October 17 to November 14th in the UAE and Oman.
Geoff Allardice, the ICC’s acting chief executive, said in a statement on Friday,
“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,”
“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.”
Group A: Sri Lanka, Ireland, the Netherlands and Namibia
Group B: Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Oman
Group 1: England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, A1 and B2.
Group 2: India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, A2 and B1.