The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the groups for the Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 which has India and Pakistan clubbed in the same group. 

The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021, originally scheduled to be held in India, will be played in Oman and the United Arab Emirates from 17 October to 14 November. Defending champions West Indies are in Group 1 alongside England, Australia, South Africa and the two qualifiers from Round 1.

India, on the other hand, are in Group 2 with neighbours, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan and the other two qualifiers from Round 1.

The top-8 ranked teams earned automatic qualification for the event while the four other teams will be decided through the qualifiers. As many as eight teams will fight for the four remaining spots and they have been divided into two groups of four. 

Group A consists of Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands and Namibia. Group B has Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Oman.

Round 1:

Group A: Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands and Namibia

Group B: Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Oman

"We are delighted to announce the groups for the ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021. There are some great matchups 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," ICC Acting Chief Executive Geoff Allardice said.

"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."

India to play Pakistan in group stage

The highlight of the competition is set to be India’s group stage match against Pakistan. The two teams have played a mere eight T20Is against each other and India have won seven of them. Their last meeting in the shortest format dates back to March 19, 2016, where Virat Kohli’s half-century took India to a six-wicket win.

The ICC T20 World Cup 2021 will be played across four different venues, namely, Dubai International Stadium, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, Sharjah Stadium, and Oman Cricket Academy Ground. The fixtures for the showpiece event will be out soon.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021 group draw

Group 1: England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, Winner Group A, Runner-up Group B

Group 2: India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Runner-up Group A, Winner Group B

Featured photo: AFP / Prakash Singh