Bitter rivals India and Pakistan will play in the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup, the International Cricket Council (ICC) confirmed on Friday.
The men’s T20 World Cup will be hosted by the BCCI in UAE and Oman from October 17 to November 14.
The tournament schedule will be announced later.
Oman is likely to host the Round 1 qualifying games, while UAE is expected to stage all the Super 12 games as well as the knockout matches of the tournament, including the final.
Defending champions West Indies will face former champions England, Australia and South Africa in Group 1 of the Super 12s. These teams will be joined by two sides from Round 1 qualifiers.
India and Pakistan have been placed in Group 2 with New Zealand, Afghanistan and the other two qualifiers from Round 1.
Eight teams, including automatic qualifiers Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, will contest in Round 1.
“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,” said Geoff Allardice, ICC Acting Chief Executive.
The Dubai International Cricket Stadium, the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Stadium and the Oman Cricket Academy Ground will host the matches.
BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said the countdown for the World Cup started after the announcement of the groups.
“With the announcement of groupings, our countdown for the ICC T20 World Cup kickstarts. 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,” Jay Shah said.
Khalid Al Zarooni, vice president of the Emirates Cricket Board, said the tournament would be a great spectacle.
“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 is extremely excited to be involved in," Al Zarooni said.
Meanwhile, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly welcomed Oman in the big league of cricket.
“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 former Indian captain said.
Pankaj Khimji, chairman of Oman Cricket, said the T20 World Cup is a watershed moment for cricket in Oman.
“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,” Khimji said.
“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!”
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.