SRI LANKA BEGIN THEIR T20 WORLD CUP CAMPAIGN AGAINST NAMIBIA ON 18 OCTOBER…

Sri Lanka will open their campaign in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 against Namibia at the Abu Dhabi Stadium on 18 October, it was confirmed today as the ICC unveiled the schedule of the 16-team event. Sri Lanka are grouped with Ireland, Namibia and Netherlands in Round 1 and will take on Ireland and Netherlands on 20 and 22 October.

Round 1 of the tournament, will begin with Oman playing Papa New Guinea followed by Bangladesh playing Scotland on 17 October. Two teams from each group of Round 1 make it to the Super 12s, with Bangladesh, Oman, Papua New Guinea, and Scotland forming Group B.

The Super 12s will begin their contest on 23 October with Australia playing South Africa and England playing West Indies followed by archrivals India and Pakistan who will play against each other on 24 October. Complete fixtures of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup hosted by India in UAE and Oman listed below.

Abu Dhabi will be the venue of the first semi-final on 10 November while the other semi-final (11 November) and the final (14 November) will be played in Dubai. All day matches are scheduled for 14h00 local time and the day-night matches are slated for 18h00 local time (+4 GMT).

Speaking on the tournament and fixtures, Sri Lankan Captain Dasun Shanaka said: “A T20 World Cup is always exciting for the players, fans, and all stakeholders who adore and love the game, and I am sure everybody is waiting for this tournament to take place, as do we as a team. A tournament of this nature helps popularize the game globally, as the short time span and the look and feel of the contest attracts the attention of the fans.”

Speaking on the players to watch out for Shanaka added: “Sri Lanka has players who can easily fit into a T20I team and deliver results. Our bowling is becoming potent, our batting has players who can build an innings and accelerate at key moments, whilst we are focusing big on our fielding as well. We do have several players in our present squad who can make an impact at any given time of the game, be it batting, bowling, or fielding. If I may name a few, Wanindu Hasaranga, who is among the top-ranked T20I bowlers, Kusal Janith Perera, who is an experienced wicket-keeper batsman, and Dushmantha Chameera, who looks extremely good with his bowling.”

Australian wicketkeeper and batter Alex Carey said: “I think the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is really exciting! We have waited an extra twelve months for this one and to have it now in the schedule and see the draw that Australia has got is truly exciting.

“Anytime we get to play against England is exciting, we know how dominant they have been in the white ball format over the last few years. Coming up against the West Indies recently, we know how tough that can also be. So, we are really looking forward to this tournament.”

Defending champions West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said: “We are excited to begin defence of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup title later this year.

“T20 cricket is dynamic and the international scene is highly competitive, with players constantly pushing the boundaries of innovation and we are expecting a spectacular event in the UAE and Oman.

“We have particularly interesting Super 12 group, which sees us come up against Australia, England and South Africa. We can’t wait to get started!

“West Indian cricketers have always played an exciting brand of cricket and I am sure our fans in the Caribbean and all over the world are highly anticipating seeing us in action”.

South Africa Captain Temba Bavuma said: “The 2021 ICC T20 World Cup is of vital importance to the Proteas and South Africa as a nation. Not only is the T20 format a key part of Cricket South Africa’s strategy to introduce new fans to the game of cricket, but this tournament will also be the first of three opportunities for us to claim our first-ever ICC World Cup trophy.

“The group that we are in is an exciting one and we’re looking forward to facing off with everyone in it as we go about our mission to reach the final and the ultimate championship. We have an exciting team that we are building with a lot of raw talent, coupled with the experienced hands that will guide and lead the youngsters.

“We have spent the greater part of the year preparing for this contest and I look forward to leading our country in my first world showpiece as captain.”

England Captain, Eoin Morgan said: “The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is going to be brilliant. The standard of T20 cricket around the world is improving exponentially and every nation has a chance of becoming World Champions. It should be one of the closest and most competitive world tournaments to date and we can’t wait to get started.”

The groupings:

Round 1

Group A: Sri Lanka, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Namibia
Group B: Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, and Oman

(Top two teams from each group advance to Super 12s)

Super 12s

Group 1: England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, A1 and B2.
Group 2: India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, A2 and B1.

(Top two teams from each group advance to the semi-finals)

Complete schedule:

Round 1

17 Oct: Oman v Papua New Guinea, Muscat (14h00); Bangladesh v Scotland, Muscat (18h00)

18 Oct: Ireland v Netherlands, Abu Dhabi (14h00); Sri Lanka v Namibia, Abu Dhabi (18h00)

19 Oct: Scotland v Papua New Guinea, Muscat (14h00); Oman v Bangladesh, Muscat (18h00)

20 Oct: Namibia v Netherlands, Abu Dhabi (14h00); Sri Lanka v Ireland, Abu Dhabi (18h00)

21 Oct: Bangladesh v Papua New Guinea, Muscat (14h00); Oman v Scotland, Muscat (18h00)

22 Oct: Namibia v Ireland, Sharjah (14h00); Sri Lanka v Netherlands, Sharjah (18h00)

Super 12

23 Oct: Australia v South Africa, Abu Dhabi (14h00); England v West Indies, Dubai (18h00)

24 Oct: A1 v B2, Sharjah (14h00); India v Pakistan, Dubai (18h00)

25 Oct: Afghanistan v B1, Sharjah (18h00)

26 Oct: South Africa v West Indies, Dubai (14h00); Pakistan v New Zealand, Sharjah (18h00)

27 Oct: England v B2, Abu Dhabi (14h00); B1 v A2, Abu Dhabi (18h00)

28 Oct: Australia v A1, Dubai (14h00)

29 Oct: West Indies v B2, Sharjah (14h00); Pakistan v Afghanistan, Dubai (18h00)

30 Oct: South Africa v A1, Sharjah (14h00); Australia v England, Dubai (18h00)

31 Oct: Afghanistan v A2, Abu Dhabi (14h00); India v New Zealand, Dubai (18h00)

1 Nov: England v A1, Sharjah (18h00)

2 Nov: South Africa v B2, Abu Dhabi (14h00); Pakistan v A2, Abu Dhabi (18h00)

3 Nov: New Zealand v B1, Dubai (14h00); India v Afghanistan, Abu Dhabi (18h00)

4 Nov: Australia v B2, Dubai (14h00); West indies v A1, Abu Dhabi (18h00)

5 Nov: New Zealand v A2, Sharjah (14h00); India v B1, Dubai (18h00)

6 Nov: Australia v West Indies, Abu Dhabi (14h00); England v South Africa, Sharjah (18h00)

7 Nov: New Zealand v Afghanistan, Abu Dhabi (14h00): Pakistan v B1, Sharjah (18h00)

8 Nov: India v A2, Dubai (18h00)

10 Nov: Semi-final 1 (A1 v B2), Abu Dhabi (18h00)

11 Nov: Semi-final 2 (B1 v A2), Dubai (18h00)

14 Nov: Final, Dubai (18h00)

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