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  21 Jan 2022, 17:14

India, Pakistan to clash at MCG in 2022 T20 World Cup

   MELBOURNE, Jan 21, 2022 (BSS/AFP) - India and Pakistan will lock horns in

a blockbuster T20 World Cup group clash for the second year running after the
fixtures for the October-November 2022 tournament in Australia were announced
on Friday.

   The arch-rivals will lock horns at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on
October 23, a day after Australia begin their title defence against New
Zealand in Sydney -- a repeat of the 2021 final in Dubai where Aaron Finch's
team won their maiden crown.

   The 16-nation tournament will begin on October 16 with Sri Lanka facing
Namibia in Geelong -- one of seven venues as Australia hosts for the first
time.

   "Our planning was ultra-detailed last time and knowing what the groups
look like nine months out is really helpful because it can help your level of
detail in that planning phase more and more," Finch said.

   "It's a tough group though, and when you throw in qualifiers like the West
Indies and Sri Lanka, you've got to play really well to get out of that group
stage."

   The top two teams from both Group A and Group B in the preliminary first
round will join the automatically qualified nations in the Super 12 stage.

   England, New Zealand, Australia and Afghanistan have been drawn together
in Group 1.

   India, Pakistan, South Africa and Bangladesh are clubbed in Group 2.

   The spotlight will be on the Group 2 India-Pakistan contest at the MCG,
with the two in recent years only meeting in multi-nation events due to
tensions over the disputed border territory of Kashmir.

   Pakistan recorded their first win over India in World Cups last year in
Dubai when they hammered Virat Kohli's team.

   The Sydney Cricket Ground will host the first semi-final on November 9
while the second last-four clash will be held at the Adelaide Oval.

   The final will be played at the MCG on November 13 under lights.

   The tournament will begin with a six-day preliminary stage of two four-
team groups.

   Sri Lanka and Namibia in Group A, and West Indies and Scotland in Group B
will be joined by four qualifiers yet to be determined.

   Australia had been due to host the T20 World Cup in 2020 but it was
delayed two years because of the coronavirus pandemic with India retaining
the 2021 edition -- though that edition had to be shifted to Dubai because of
Covid.

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