Arch-rivals India and Pakistan were drawn in the same group as the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced group details of the 2021 T20 World Cup on Friday.
Group 2 of the Super 12 stage comprises India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, and the two qualifiers from Round 1. Meanwhile, Group 1 is a more high-profile group featuring Australia, England, South Africa, West Indies, and two other qualifiers from Round 1.
A total of eight teams will compete in 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.
“We are delighted to announce the groups for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. 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,” ICC Acting Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said.
“With the announcement of groupings, our countdown for the ICC T20 World Cup kickstarts. 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. Having said that, the exciting T20 format is known for its surprises, and we must be prepared for the same. I am sure we will witness some exciting and nail-biting games
I am particularly delighted to be in Oman. As a major force in world cricket, the BCCI has always endeavoured to promote and assist Associate Nations. In my capacity as Asian Cricket Council President, my vision is to take cricket far and deep into Asia. Co-hosting the World Cup will put Oman Cricket on the global stage. They are also playing the Qualifiers and it will be an icing on the cake if they make it to the Super 12s,” said BCCI’s secretary Jay Shah.
Echoing the same opinion regarding Oman, BCCI chief Sourav 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.”
The upcoming edition of the T20 World Cup was originally scheduled to be held in India. However, as a result of the intense second wave that has hit India in the past few months, the tournament was shifted to Oman and the UAE. It will be played from October 17 to November 14.