Australia, New Zealand to meet in Twenty20 World Cup opener

Australia will open their Twenty20 World Cup title defence with a rematch of last year’s final against New Zealand, at the SCG.

The International Cricket Council on Friday unveiled the fixture for this year’s tournament to be held in Australia, beginning October 16 with the Super 12 stage and culminating with the final at the MCG on November 13.

Matches will be held across seven venues, including a blockbuster between Pakistan and India on the opening weekend at the MCG.

The tournament was due to be held here in 2020 but was rescheduled because of the initial wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Australians, having been crowned Twenty20 champions for the first time in November with victory over the Black Caps in Dubai, have also been grouped with England, Afghanistan and two teams that will come emerge through first round of the tournament.

This year’s event will again have 16 teams in a Super 12 format, as was the case in the United Arab Emirates.

Australia’s men’s cricket team lifted their first T20 World Cup in November.Credit:Getty

Pakistan, India, South Africa, Bangladesh and two teams from the first round will comprise the second group.

“T20 is the global growth format for cricket and the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 will play a huge role in inspiring our next generation of players and fans as the world’s best players descend on Australia and showcase the very best of our sport. The release of fixtures is always a great moment in the delivery of a World Cup as fans start to get excited about opening games, head to heads and knock-out stages,” ICC chief Geoff Allardice said.

“This schedule offers so much, from the 2014 champions Sri Lanka opening the event, to our defending champions Australia starting with a rematch of the 2021 men’s T20 World Cup final against New Zealand and of course India taking on Pakistan at the MCG.

“We know that hundreds of thousands of passionate cricket fans will turn out to support every single one of the 16 teams across all seven of our host cities which is what makes it so special for the players. You only need to cast your mind back to the brilliant ICC women’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia to know that this is going to be a wonderful event for players and fans alike.”

ICC T20 World Cup 2022
First round
Group A: Sri Lanka, Namibia, two qualifiers
Group B: West Indies, Scotland, two qualifiers

Super 12 stage
Group 1: Australia, Afghanistan, England, New Zealand, A1, B2
Group 2: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, South Africa, B1, A2

Australia’s T20 World Cup 2022 schedule
Oct 22: v New Zealand, SCG, 6pm AEDT
Oct 25: v A1, Optus Stadium, 10pm AEDT
Oct 28: v England, MCG, 7pm AEDT
Oct 31: v B2, Gabba, 7pm AEDT
Nov 4: v Afghanistan, Adelaide Oval, 7pm AEDT

Nov 9: SCG, 7pm AEDT
Nov 10: Adelaide Oval, 7pm AEDT

Nov 13: MCG, 7pm AEDT

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