New Delhi: The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced the groups for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 to be hosted by the BCCI in Oman and the United Arab Emirates from 17 October to 14 November.Also Read - Sridharan Sharath Appointed As Chairman of BCCI Junior Selection Committee

The groups, selected on the basis of team rankings as of 20 March 2021, see defending champions the West Indies pooled along with former champions England, Australia and South Africa in Group 1 of the Super 12s, with two qualifiers from Round 1 joining them. Also Read - Brendon McCullum Surprised on Virat Kohli Stepping Down as T20I Captain

Group 2 will comprise former champions India and Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan and the other two qualifiers from Round 1. Eight teams will contest the first round including automatic qualifiers Sri Lanka and Bangladesh with the remaining six who booked their spot through the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019. Ireland, Netherlands and Namibia join Sri Lanka in Group A, whilst Oman, PNG and Scotland will face Bangladesh in Group B. Also Read - Big Communication Gap Between BCCI And Virat Kohli: Sandeep Patil

ICC Acting Chief Executive Geoff Allardice: “We are delighted to announce the groups for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021. There are some great match ups offered by the groups and it starts to bring the event to life for our fans as our first multi-team event since the onset of the global pandemic draws closer.

“Given the disruption caused by COVID-19, we selected the cutoff date as close as possible to the event to ensure we were able to include the maximum amount of cricket in the rankings which determine the groups. There is no doubt we will witness some highly competitive cricket when the event gets underway in just three months.”

A total of eight teams have already qualified for the main round while four more will join them from the qualifiers, making it a total of 12.

The event was initially slated to be held in India, but due to the pandemic situation in the country, it has been shifted to Oman. BCCI will still have all the hosting rights. The marquee event is scheduled to begin on September 17 in UAE and Oman.

Meanwhile, the suspended IPL will also be completed after India’s tour of England. The remaining 31 matches are set to be played in UAE.