India, Pakistan to meet in Group 2 opener at T20 World Cup

August 17, 2021 GMT
India's Mdohammed Siraj, right, celebrates after taking the wicket clean bowled of England's James Anderson, with India winning the 2nd test, during the fifth day of the 2nd cricket test between England and India at Lord's cricket ground in London, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
India's Mdohammed Siraj, right, celebrates after taking the wicket clean bowled of England's James Anderson, with India winning the 2nd test, during the fifth day of the 2nd cricket test between England and India at Lord's cricket ground in London, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
India's Mdohammed Siraj, right, celebrates after taking the wicket clean bowled of England's James Anderson, with India winning the 2nd test, during the fifth day of the 2nd cricket test between England and India at Lord's cricket ground in London, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
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India's Mdohammed Siraj, right, celebrates after taking the wicket clean bowled of England's James Anderson, with India winning the 2nd test, during the fifth day of the 2nd cricket test between England and India at Lord's cricket ground in London, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
1 of 2
India's Mdohammed Siraj, right, celebrates after taking the wicket clean bowled of England's James Anderson, with India winning the 2nd test, during the fifth day of the 2nd cricket test between England and India at Lord's cricket ground in London, Monday, Aug. 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — India will play Pakistan in the opening Group 2 match at the International Cricket Council’s Twenty20 World Cup in October, a day after Australia takes on South Africa and the West Indies meet England in the first games of the Super 12 stage.

The ICC on Tuesday released the full draw for both stages of the Oct. 17-Nov. 14 tournament which is being played in the United Arab Emirates and Oman after being shifted from India because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bangladesh and 2014 T20 World Cup champion Sri Lanka are among eight teams involved in the first stage, which will feature double-headers on six days at venues in Muscat, Oman, and Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in the UAE.

The four leading teams in the first stage will advance to the Super 12 round, joining tournament host India and seven other automatic qualifiers. The Super 12 round will run from Oct. 23 to Nov. 8 and the top two teams in each group will advance to the semifinals to be played at Abu Dhabi on Nov. 10 and at Dubai on Nov. 11.

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Dubai will host the final on Nov. 14.

The defending champion West Indies are in Group 1 along with Australia, 2010 champion England and South Africa. India and Pakistan are joined by New Zealand and Afghanistan in Group 2.

West Indies T20 captain Kieron Pollard said his team was excited to begin the defense of the title after a year-long delay in the tournament.

“We can’t wait to get started,” he said. “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.”

Virat Kohli’s India squad will have a packed schedule leading into the tournament. India’s test squad is playing a series in England now and most players will return for the second half of the Indian Premier League, which is set to resume in the UAE next month after being suspended in May as coronavirus cases surged in India.

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