There may be no guarantees with regards to India’s bilateral series against Pakistan, but fans can now be assured of Indo-Pak action during the ICC WT20 early next year.
India and Pakistan were drawn in the same group, as the tournament was launched in Mumbai on Friday.
Other teams in India’s group are Australia, New Zealand and Qualifier 1.
Group two has Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, England, Qualifier 2.
The Indo-Pak clash will take place on March 19 at HPCA’s Dharamsala.
“We assure you that the 2016 ICC T20 World Cup will be bigger and better,” said BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur at the event.
The women’s semi-finals and final will be followed by the men’s knock-out matches. There is a reserve day for the finals.
The men’s event will carry a total prize money of USD 5.6 million, which is an 86 per cent increase from the 2014 tournament, while the total prize money for the women’s event is USD 400,000, which is a 122 per cent increase from the Bangladesh event.
There have been five different winners of the men’s event while the England women’s team won the inaugural tournament at home in 2009 before Australia won three straight titles in the West Indies, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in 2010, 2012 and 2014, respectively.
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.
The first round matches in the men’s event will take place in Dharamsala and Nagpur from March 8-13 and will feature Bangladesh, Netherlands, Ireland, debutant Oman (all in Group A), Zimbabwe, Scotland, Hong Kong and Afghanistan (all in Group B).
In a double-header on the opening day on March 8, Zimbabwe will face Hong Kong in the afternoon match, to be followed by the evening match between Scotland and Afghanistan. Both the matches will be played in Nagpur.
The group winners will join Australia, England, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and host India in the Super 10 stage, which will be played alongside the women’s event from March 15 to 28.
Men’s defending champion Sri Lanka have been placed in Super 10 Group 1 along with South Africa, West Indies, England and the Group B winner. They will open their title defence against the Group B winner in Kolkata on March 17, and play West Indies in Bengaluru on March 20, England in New Delhi on March 26 and South Africa in New Delhi on March 28.
Hosts India, which won the inaugural tournament in South Africa in 2007, are in Super 10 Group 2 along with 2009 winner Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and the Group A winner.
However, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shahryar Khan on Friday said that the board will have to ask for the government’s permission for their participation in ICC World T20 to be hosted by India next year.
Khan said in an interview that the PCB will have to seek its government permission to send the team to India for the World T20 in March.
“We are monitoring the situation but given the current environment in India with regards to Pakistan we will have to ask our government for permission whether the security situation is ok for us to send our team,” he said.
Khan also added that if the proposed India-Pakistan bilateral series is not held within the next month it would not be possible to have one for the next one year.
“I don’t see the series happening in the next one year if it is not held at this time as both teams have international commitment throughout 2016,” Khan said.