· Zimbabwe to face Hong Kong in tournament opener in Nagpur; Sri Lanka to launch title defence in Kolkata on 17 March; India-Pakistan to go head to head in Dharamsala on 19 March
· Australia women aim to win fourth straight title
· ICC Chief Executive Mr David Richardson: “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,”
· BCCI Secretary Mr Anurag Thakur: “We, as hosts, are fully prepared to organise one of the most entertaining spectacles in world cricket”
The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday announced the groups and schedule of the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016, which will be staged across eight venues in India from 8 March to 3 April.
A total of 58 tournament matches, including 35 men’s matches and 23 women’s matches, will be played in the 27-day tournament in Bengaluru, Chennai, Dharamsala, Kolkata, Mohali, Mumbai, Nagpur and New Delhi. New Delhi and Mumbai will host the semi-finals on 30 and 31 March, respectively, while Eden Gardens in Kolkata will be the venue of the 3 April 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.
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.
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 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, which won the inaugural tournament in South Africa in 2007, is in Super 10 Group 2 along with 2009 winner Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and the Group A winner. India will launch its campaign in Nagpur against New Zealand on 15 March, while it will go head to head with Pakistan in Dharamsala on 19 March. Its other matches will be against the Group A winner in Bengaluru on 23 March and Australia in Mohali on 27 March.
2009 champion Pakistan will take on the Group A winner in Kolkata on 16 March, before locking horns with traditional rival India in Dharamsala on 19 March. Its remaining two matches will be in Mohali against New Zealand and Australia on 22 and 25 March, respectively.
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).
Meanwhile, in the women’s tournament, 2009 champion England is in Group B along with the West Indies, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and will start off against Bangladesh in Bengaluru on 17 March. Its other matches will be against India (22 March in Dharamsala), West Indies (24 March in Dharamsala) and Pakistan (27 March in Chennai).
Australia women, who will be bidding to win the title for the fourth straight time, is in Group A along with South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Ireland. Their opening match will be against South Africa (18 March in Nagpur), followed by matches against New Zealand (21 March in Nagpur), Sri Lanka (24 March in New Delhi) and Ireland (24 March in New Delhi).
ICC Chairman Mr Shashank Manohar, who attended the launch ceremony in Mumbai, 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.
“The ICC and BCCI are fully committed and will work together to make this a memorable event. I invite fans from across the world to witness fast-paced cricketing action on the field and enjoy the hospitality and culture of India, off it.”
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson 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.”
BCCI Secretary Mr Anurag Thakur said: “We, as hosts, are fully prepared to organise one of the most entertaining spectacles in world cricket. We draw experience from hosting three ICC Cricket World Cups and are ready to make the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 one of the most memorable events.
The ICC World Twenty20 trophy was also present at the ceremony before it leaves Mumbai for Scotland on Sunday, 13 December, as part of the Nissan Trophy Tour. The trophy will return to New Delhi on 1 February after visiting 11 countries.
First round (group winners to progress to second round)
Group A – Bangladesh, Netherlands, Ireland and Oman
Group B – Zimbabwe, Scotland, Hong Kong and Afghanistan
Second round groups
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)
Group A – Australia (A1), South Africa (A2), New Zealand (A3), Sri Lanka (A4) and Ireland (A5)
Group B – England (B1), West Indies (B2), India (B3), Pakistan (B4) and Bangladesh (B5)
Tournament schedule (‘M’ denotes men’s match; ‘W’ denotes women’s match; PM means afternoon match and Eve. means night match. Match timing to be confirmed in due course)
Tue, 8 Mar – Zimbabwe v Hong Kong (PM), Nagpur; Scotland v Afghanistan (Eve.), Nagpur
Wed, 9 Mar – Bangladesh v Netherlands (PM), Dharamsala; Ireland v Oman (Eve.), Dharamsala
Thu, 10 Mar – Scotland v Zimbabwe (PM), Nagpur; Hong Kong v Afghanistan (Eve.)
Fri, 11 Mar – Netherlands v Oman (PM), Dharamsala; Bangladesh v Ireland (Eve.), Dharamsala
Sat, 12 Mar – Zimbabwe v Afghanistan (PM), Nagpur; Scotland v Hong Kong (Eve.), Nagpur
Sun, 13 Mar – Netherlands v Ireland (PM), Dharamsala; Bangladesh v Oman (Eve.), Dharamsala
Tue, 15 Mar – India v Bangladesh (W) (PM), Bengaluru; New Zealand v Sri Lanka (W) (Eve.), New Delhi; New Zealand v India (M) (Eve), Nagpur
Wed, 16 Mar – West Indies v England (M) (PM), Mumbai; Pakistan v Q1A (M) (Eve.), Kolkata; West Indies v Pakistan (W) (Eve.), Chennai
Thu, 17 Mar – England v Bangladesh (W) (PM), Bengaluru; Sri Lanka v Q1B (M) (Eve.), Kolkata
Fri, 18 Mar – New Zealand v Ireland (W) (PM), Mohali; Australia v New Zealand (M) (PM), Dharamsala; South Africa v England (M) (Eve.), Mumbai; Australia v South Africa (W) (Eve.), Nagpur
Sat, 19 Mar – India v Pakistan (W) (PM), New Delhi; India v Pakistan (M) (Eve.), Dharamsala
Sun, 20 Mar – South Africa v Q1B (M) (PM), Mumbai; West Indies v Bangladesh (W) (PM), Chennai; Sri Lanka v Ireland (W) (Eve.), Mohali; Sri Lanka v West Indies (M) (Eve.), Bengaluru
Mon, 21 Mar – Australia v New Zealand (W) (PM), Nagpur; Australia v Q1A (M) (Eve.), Bengaluru
Tue, 22 Mar – England v India (W) (PM), Dharamsala; New Zealand v Pakistan (M) (Eve.), Mohali
Wed, 23 Mar – England v Q1B (M) (PM), New Delhi; India v Q1A (M), (Eve.), Bengaluru; South Africa v Ireland (W) (Eve.), Chennai
Thu, 24 Mar – England v West Indies (W) (Eve.), Dharamsala; Australia v Sri Lanka (W) (PM), New Delhi; Pakistan v Bangladesh (W) (Eve.), New Delhi
Fri, 25 Mar – Pakistan v Australia (M) (PM), Mohali; South Africa v West Indies (M), (Eve.), Nagpur
Sat, 26 Mar – Australia v Ireland (W) (PM), New Delhi; Q1A v New Zealand (M) (PM), Kolkata; England v Sri Lanka (M) (Eve.), New Delhi; South Africa v New Zealand (W) (Eve.), Bengaluru
Sun, 27 Mar – West Indies v India (W) (PM), Mohali; India v Australia (M) (Eve.), Mohali; England v Pakistan (W) (Eve.), Chennai; Q1B v West Indies (M) (PM), Nagpur;
Mon, 28 Mar – South Africa v Sri Lanka (W) (PM), Bengaluru; South Africa v Sri Lanka (M) (Eve.), New Delhi
Tue, 29 Mar – Rest/travel day
Wed, 30 Mar – Women’s semi-final (2nd group A v 1st group B) (PM), New Delhi; men’s semi-final (Super 10 Group 1 2nd v Super 10 Group 2 1st) (Eve.), New Delhi
Thu, 31 Mar – Women’s semi-final (1st group A v 2nd group B) (PM), Mumbai; men’s semi-final (Super 10 Group 1 1st v Super 10 Group 2 2nd) (Eve.), Mumbai
Fri, 1 Apr – Rest/travel day
Sat, 2 Apr – Rest/travel day
Sun, 3 April – Women’s final (PM), Kolkata; men’s final (Eve.), Kolkata
*Warm-up schedule to be confirmed in due course