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ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 schedule announced

Sri Lanka's cricketers celebrate with the trophy after winning the ICC World Twenty20 2014. (Image courtesy: google)

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday (December 11) 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.

The much awaited India-Pakistan Group 2 game will be played in Dharamsala on March 19 2016. Nagpur will host the main tournament opener, between India and 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 in Bengaluru, Chennai, Dharamsala, Kolkata, Mohali, Mumbai, Nagpur and New Delhi.

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.

ICC Chairman 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.”

New Zealand and Australia, the other two teams in India’s group, will clash with the hosts in Nagpur (on March 15) and Mohali (on March 27) respectively. India will also play the winner of Group A from the qualifying round on March 23 in Bangalore.

Clubbed together in Group A, Bangladesh, Netherlands, Ireland and Oman will fight it out to earn the right to progress to the main round from March 8 to March 13.

Group 1 consists of Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, England and the winner of Group B from qualifiers. Zimbabwe, Scotland, Hong Kong and Afghanistan will fight it out for the last remaining spot in the main round.

Despite Mumbai Cricket Association requesting the BCCI to not allow a semifinal in Mumbai considering the problems with hosting Pakistan in the city, the Wankhede stadium will host a semifinal double header.

The ICC World T20 semifinals will be staged in Delhi and Mumbai on March 30 and March 31 respectively. The final will be held at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on April 3.

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