Melbourne, January 21: The schedule for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 was announced on Friday (January 21), and India will be locking horns with Pakistan in their first match of the tournament on October 23 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) at 1.30pm IST.
The Men's T20 World Cup 2022 is slated to be held in Australia between October 16- November 13 and 45 matches will be played across seven venues -- Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Geelong, Hobart and Perth.
It is the same national footprint as the postponed 2020 event. It may be recalled that India faced Pakistan in the opening match of the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 in the UAE as well, and the latter defeated India.
It was the first time Pakistan defeated India in an ICC World Cup, courtesy excellent performances by Shaheen Shah Afridi, skipper Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan, the wicketkeeper batsman.
In the First Round, 2014 champions Sri Lanka and Namibia will play the opening match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 at Kardinia Park, Geelong on Sunday, October 16.
They’ll be joined by two qualifiers in Group A. Two-time champions West Indies will also start in the First Round, joined in Group B by Scotland, and two qualifiers in Hobart.
In the Super 12, hosts Australia are in Group 1 with world number one England, New Zealand, Afghanistan plus the winner of Group A and the runner-up in Group B from the First Round.
Group 2 features India, Pakistan, South Africa, Bangladesh, plus the winner of Group B and runner-up in Group A from the First Round. Hosts and defending champions, Australia will play New Zealand in the opening match of the Super 12 at the SCG on Saturday, October 22 in a re-match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 Final.
The Black Caps will also face England at The Gabba on 1 November in a re-match of their epic semifinal encounter at the 2021 event.
Two of world cricket’s biggest rivals will go head-to-head at the MCG, with India taking on Pakistan on Sunday, October 23.
It will be the first World Cup clash between the two nations at the MCG and comes before two more fierce rivals, Australia and England, meet at the same venue on Friday, October 28.
The state-of-the-art Perth Stadium will host a huge Sunday double-header on Sunday, October 30 with South Africa taking on India in the evening match. Earlier in the day, Pakistan will be in action against the runners-up from Group A.
The seven venues to host matches are Adelaide Oval, The Gabba, Kardinia Park Stadium, Bellerive Oval, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Perth Stadium and Sydney Cricket Ground.
The semi-finals will be played at the SCG and Adelaide Oval on November 9 and 10, respectively. The final will be contested under lights at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on November 13.
Defending champions Australia and runners-up New Zealand plus England, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Afghanistan and Bangladesh as the next highest-ranked teams have gained direct entry into the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022