Dharamsala to Host India-Pakistan Face-Off in T20 WC

Dharamsala to Host India-Pakistan Face-Off in T20 WC

Submitted by Subeditor on Fri, 2015-12-11 17:55 Dubai: As the uncertainty looms over the much-anticipated bilateral series between India and Pakistan, the two subcontinent sides have been confirmed to renew their rivalry when they will take on each other in the 2016 Twenty20 World Cup on March 19 in Dharamshala. According to the schedule announced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday, the World Cup Twenty20 matches will be staged across eight venues in India, starting from March 8 to April 3. According to the men's event format, eight sides in two groups of four, will feature in the first round matches with the group winners joining eight sides in the Super 10 stage (two groups of five teams). The top two sides from both the Super 10 Groups will then qualify for the semi-finals. In the women's event, the 10 sides will be divided into two groups and the top two sides from each group will progress to the semi-finals. The first round matches in the men's event will take place in Dharamsala and Nagpur from 8-13 March and will feature Bangladesh, Netherlands, Ireland, debutant Oman (all in Group A), Zimbabwe, Scotland, Hong Kong and Afghanistan (all in Group B). In a double-header on the opening day on 8 March, Zimbabwe will face Hong Kong in the afternoon match, to be followed by the evening match between Scotland and Afghanistan. Both the matches will be played in Nagpur. The group winners will join Australia, England, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and host India in the Super 10 stage, which will be played alongside the women's event from 15-28 March. Host India , who will launch its campaign in Nagpur against New Zealand on March 15, is in Super 10 Group 2 along with 2009 winner Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and the Group A winner. Pakistan will first play against the Group A winner in Kolkata on March 16, before locking horns with traditional rival India. India's other matches will be against the Group A winner in Bengaluru on 23 March and Australia in Mohali on 27 March while Pakistan will play their remaining two matches in Mohali against New Zealand and Australia on 22 and 25 March, respectively. Speaking on the announcement, ICC Chairman Shashank Manohar, said: “India is a country where cricket is a religion and not many places can match the passion for the game like India. I am fully confident that the Board of Control for Cricket in India will deliver an outstanding world cricket event, just like the ICC Cricket World Cups in 1987, 1996 and 2011. ” Meanwhile, ICC Chief Executive David Richardson also expressed his views and said: “The ICC World Twenty20 is an event which puts the world's best cricketers in the shortest format of the game against each other in a nation versus nation contest. ” “The Twenty20 format provides the perfect vehicle by which the ICC can further globalise the game, providing international exposure and opportunity to our top Associate and Affiliate members. The ICC World Twenty20 event structure is designed to provide highly competitive matches throughout, with eight evenly-matched sides fighting it out in the first round and the best two then getting in the mix with the top eight ranked teams in the Super 10 stage where the intensity and competition will be of the very highest level,”he added. England, which won the 2010 tournament in the West Indies, takes on 2012 winner the West Indies in Mumbai on 16 March, followed by matches against South Africa (18 March in Mumbai), the Group B winner (23 March in New Delhi) and Sri Lanka (26 March in New Delhi). After taking on England in its tournament opener, the West Indies will square off against Sri Lanka (20 March in Bengaluru), South Africa (25 March in Nagpur) and the Group B winner (27 March in Nagpur). Men's defending champion Sri Lanka has been placed in Super 10 Group 1 along with South Africa, West Indies, England and the Group B winner. It will open its title defence against the Group B winner in Kolkata on 17 March, and play West Indies in Bengaluru on 20 March, England in New Delhi on 26 March and South Africa in New Delhi on 28 March. (ANI)