India, Pakistan in same group in Cricket T20 World Cup
New Delhi, July 16, 2021
India and Pakistan have been clubbed together in Group 2 of the Super 12s for the ICC T20 World Cup to be to be hosted by the BCCI in Oman and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from 17 October to 14 November.
Being in one group assures that the arch-rivals will clash at least once and after that the ultimate wish of the fans would be that these teams should clash in the final which, on current form, looks unlikely.
In the 2020 edition of the tournament, which was originally scheduled for Australia and was later postponed by the ICC because of the Covid-19 pandemic, India and Pakistan were in different groups because they were No. 1 and No. 2 in the ICC T20I rankings at the time of the deadline.
The ICC later allotted the tournament to India but owing to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic in the country, the BCCI decided to move it overseas, even though the Indian board remains the official hosts for the event.
The two teams faced each other in the group stage of the 2015 50-over World Cup and also in the last edition of the T20 World Cup.
India is second behind England and ahead of New Zealand, followed by Pakistan, Australia, South Africa, Afghanistan and West Indies.
At a draw ceremony in Oman on Friday, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the groups selected on the basis of team rankings as of 20 March, which 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.
Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and New Zealand are in the Group 2. with two qualifiers from Round 1 added to the group
Eight teams will contest the first round including automatic qualifiers Sri Lanka and Bangladesh with the remaining six who booked their spot through the 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.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said: “It is good to get Oman in the frame of world cricket with the hosting of theT20 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 secretary Jay Shah who is also the current president of the Asian Cricket Council, said Oman, who are one of the teams participating in Round 1, deserved to be on the global map: "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."
"With the announcement of groupings, our countdown for the 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"
ICC Acting Chief Executive Geoff Allardice: “We are delighted to announce the groups for the World Cup. 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.”
Oman Cricket Chairman Pankaj Khimji said, “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 T20 World Cup groups.
"Playing in and hosting the event gives us an opportunity to showcase not just our commitment to growing the game but also showcasing Oman as a welcoming destination to the world!
Vice President Emirates Cricket Board, Khalid Al Zarooni said: "Understanding the current sporting climate, in such unprecedented times, Emirates Cricket congratulates the ICC, the BCCI and the respective teams on T20 World Cup groupings' announcement.
“Looking at these groups we anticipate a highly competitive, thoroughly enjoyable spectacle of international cricket. This is truly an aspirational tournament and one the wider UAE Cricket team is extremely excited to be involved in."
The venues for the T20 World Cup 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 later
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.