Arch-rivals and former T20 World Cup champions India and Pakistan have been drawn in Group 2 of the Super 12 announced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday (July 16), which means the two sides will face off in the group stage. 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.
Group 2 will comprise former champions India and Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan and the other two qualifiers from Round 1. Eight teams will contest the first round including automatic qualifiers Sri Lanka and Bangladesh with the remaining six who booked their spot through the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019. Ireland, Netherlands and Namibia join Sri Lanka in Group A, whilst Oman, PNG and Scotland will face Bangladesh in Group B.
India and Pakistan have been involved in plenty of thrilling encounters, especially in the T20 World Cup. The very first clash between the neighbours ended in a bowl-out after a tie in the 2007 T20 World Cup, which India won. It was followed by the 2007 T20 World Cup final, which once again India won under the leadership of MS Dhoni.
Some mouth-watering match-ups in the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men's #T20WorldCup 2021
Which clash are you most looking forward to?
— T20 World Cup (@T20WorldCup) July 16, 2021
“It is good to get Oman in the frame of world cricket with the hosting of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup. It will help a lot of young players take an interest in the game. We know it will be a world class event in this part of the world,” BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said.
"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," Acting Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said in a release.
The venues for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 are Dubai International Stadium, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Stadium, and the Oman Cricket Academy Ground. The tournament schedule will be announced in due course.
The tournament was originally scheduled to be held in India but was moved out of the country due to an expected third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be the first T20 World Cup since 2016 when West Indies beat England in the final in Kolkata.
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