India, Pak placed in separate groups in T20 WC

India, Pak placed in separate groups in T20 WC

India will face South Africa in the opener of the T20 World Cup next year in Australia. AFP File Photo

For the first time since the 2011 World Cup, arch-rivals India and Pakistan will not face each other in the group stage of an ICC event. 

At the T20 World Cup to be held in Australia next year, former champions India will square off against South Africa in their opening match, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced on Tuesday.

India's opening match will take place in Perth on October 24 while the tournament will get underway from October 18 with qualifying rounds in South Geelong.

India, who lost in the semifinals to eventual winners West Indies in the previous edition in 2016, face a qualifying team in their next Super 12 match in Melbourne on October 29. India won the event's inaugural edition in 2007.

The men's competition, from October 18 to November 15, will feature several qualifying matches before hosts Australia take on world's top-ranked Pakistan in the first match of the tournament-proper on October 24 under lights at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said: "Whenever we host an event in Australia we know we can guarantee the one billion cricket fans around the world a great show.

"The world's best players. Outstanding venues. Noisy, passionate, knowledgeable fans. Exciting cricket. This is the perfect combination for a T20 World Cup and in 2020 we go one step further with two T20 World Cups in one year."

Defending champions West Indies play their first Super 12 group stage match against New Zealand on October 25 in Melbourne.

Australia, Pakistan, the West Indies, New Zealand and two qualifiers make up Group 1 of the Super 12 stage. India, England, South Africa and Afghanistan and two qualifiers make up the other group.

The first semifinal will take place at the SCG on November 11, with Adelaide Oval hosting the second semifinal the following night.

The final will be played at the MCG on November 15.

The tournament will be held in eight Australian cities and 13 venues.

Eves to face Australia 

The Indian women's cricket team will open its campaign against defending champion Australia on February 21 in Sydney.

The ICC Women's T20 World Cup will take place in Australia from February 21 to March 8 next year.

After the clash against the home side, the Indian women will travel to Perth to take on a yet-to-be-decided qualifier on February 24, followed by a clash against New Zealand on February 27 in Melbourne.

At the same venue, the Indians will wind up their round-robin engagements with a match against Sri Lanka.

The semifinals are scheduled to be held on March 5 in Sydney while the summit clash is on March 8 in Melbourne.

Groups: A: Pakistan, Australia, West Indies, New Zealand, Qualifier 1, Qualifier 2.

B: India, England, South Africa, Afghanistan, Qualifier 3, Qualifier 4.

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