DUBAI: The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday shared the schedule for the upcoming Men’s T20 World Cup, set to take place in the UAE and Oman from October 17.
Millions of fans will be eager to witness Pakistan begin their bid for the trophy with a high-octane clash against India on October 24 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
“The two neighbours will come face-to-face for the first time since their 2019, 50-over World Cup fixture at Manchester, and this will be the sixth time they will compete in the global T20 tournament,” said the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
“Two days later, Pakistan, the champions of the 2009 edition, will play Kane Williamson’s New Zealand at the historic Sharjah Cricket Stadium, before returning to Dubai to play Afghanistan for the first time in a T20 World Cup on October 29,” added the board.
In their last two matches of the Super 12 stage, which will feature top-eight ranked T20 teams and four teams who secure qualification from Round 1, Pakistan, who have played the most matches (36) in the UAE for an international side and have won 21 of them, will play the runner-up of Group A and winners of Group B on 2 and 7 November at Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium and Sharjah Cricket Stadium, respectively.
T20 world cup like a home event, says Babar Azam
Reacting to the release of the schedule, Pakistan skipper Babar Azam said it was like a home event for the team since it was taking place in the UAE.
“For Pakistan, the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 is like a home event as the UAE has been our venue for more than a decade. We have not only nurtured our talent and developed our side in the UAE but have also beaten the top sides in these conditions to peak to number-one in the ICC T20I Team Rankings.
“All the players are excited, motivated and enthusiastic, and view this tournament as an opportunity to showcase our prowess and re-establish our superiority in the shortest format of the game in conditions that suit us best,” he said.
Babar Azam said he would remain focused to inspire his team through performances so Pakistan can win a major ICC event in Asia for the first time.