India and Pakistan have been placed in the same group for the T20 World Cup, to be played in the United Arab Emirates and Oman between October 17 and November 14.
According to the groupings revealed by the International Cricket Council on Friday, India and Pakistan will be joined by Afghanistan and New Zealand in Group two. England, Australia, South Africa and the West Indies are placed in Group one.
The ICC acting CEO, Geoff Allardice, unveiled the draws in Muscat hours after the BCCI top brass – Sourav Ganguly and Jay Shah – reached the city. The Indian cricket board has the hosting rights of the tournament. But the 16-team event had to be shifted to the UAE because of the coronavirus pandemic.
While the final schedule is expected to be released in the coming weeks, Allardice confirmed that Oman will host ‘at least six’ qualifying matches. The main rounds will be played across three venues – Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.
Allardice also said that even though the ‘preference is to have fans’, a decision will be taken after consulting the UAE and Oman governments.
Talking about the warm-up matches, Allardice said that efforts would be made so that teams across groups can play each other. However, it would all depend on the travel guidelines and other protocols.
This will be the first T20 World Cup since 2016 when West Indies beat England in the final at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Group A: Sri Lanka, Namibia, Netherlands, Ireland
Group B: Oman, Bangladesh, PNG, Scotland
Super 12 stage
Group One: England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies + (winner of group A and runner-up of Group B)
Group Two: India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan + (runner-up of group A and winner of group B)