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High octane Pakistan-India World T20 clash on March 19

High octane Pakistan-India World T20 clash on March 19

The fate of the bilateral series remains uncertain but Pakistan and India will cross swords in a high-octane 2016 World Twenty20 clash on March 19 after the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the groups and schedule of the tournament on Friday.

Pakistan feature in a tough Super 10 Group 2 which also includes 2015 World Cup champions Australia and runners-up New Zealand.

A total of 58 tournament matches, including 35 men’s matches and 23 women’s matches, will be played in the 27-day tournament (March 8 to April 3) in Bengaluru, Chennai, Dharamsala, Kolkata, Mohali, Mumbai, Nagpur and New Delhi.

New Delhi and Mumbai will host the semi-finals on March 30 and 31, respectively, while Eden Gardens in Kolkata will be the venue of the April 3 finals. The women’s semi-finals and final will be followed by the men’s knock-out matches.

There is a reserve day for the finals.

There have been five different winners of the men’s event while the England women’s team won the inaugural tournament at home in 2009 before Australia won three straight titles in the West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in 2010, 2012 and 2014, respectively.

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 men’s event will carry a total prize money of $5.6million, which is an 86 per cent increase from the 2014 tournament, while the total prize money for the women’s event is $400,000, which is a 122 per cent increase from the Bangladesh event.

The first round matches in the men’s event will take place in Dharamsala and Nagpur from March 8-13 and will feature Bangladesh, Netherlands, Ireland, debutant Oman [all in Group A], Zimbabwe, Scotland, Hong Kong and Afghanistan [all in Group B].

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 March 15-28.

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 March 17, and play West Indies in Bengaluru on March 20, England in New Delhi on March 26 and South Africa in New Delhi on March 28.

2009 champion Pakistan will take on the Group A winner in Kolkata on March 16, before locking horns with traditional rival India in Dharamsala on March 19. Its remaining two matches will be in Mohali against New Zealand and Australia on March 22 and 25, respectively. — ICC

Group A – Bangladesh, Netherlands, Ireland and Oman

Group B – Zimbabwe, Scotland, Hong Kong and Afghanistan

Super 10 Group 1 – Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, England and winner group B (Q1B)

Super 10 Group 2 – India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and winner group A (Q1A)

Flashback: Gul sets up Dhoni for a sizzling yorker (PAK v IND, 2007 World T20)

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