DUBAI – Arch-rivals India and Pakistan were on Friday placed in the same group for the T20 World Cup as the ICC announced the pools for its flagship event, set to be played in the UAE and Oman from October 17 to November 14.
India and Pakistan are placed in Group 2 along with World Test Championship winners New Zealand and Afghanistan.
The Group 1 has defending champions West Indies, former winners England, Australia and South Africa.
The Groups of Super 12s have been selected on the basis of team rankings as of 20 March 2021, according to the International Cricket Council.
Two teams will join each of the groups from the qualifying rounds.
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, while Oman, PNG and Scotland will face Bangladesh in Group B.
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 coronavirus.
“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,” ICC acting chief executive Geoff Allardice said in a release.
“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.”
Allardice unveiled the draws in Muscat hours after the BCCI top officials — president Sourav Ganguly and secretary Jay Shah — arrived in the city.
Ganguly, said, “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.”
Shah said, “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.”
This will be the first T20 World Cup since 2016 when West Indies beat England in the final in Kolkata.
“Oman Cricket has come a long way and today is a watershed moment for us to have ICC and BCCI here at Oman Cricket Academy to announce the ICC men’s T20 World Cup groups!,” Oman Cricket chairman, Pankaj Khimji, said.