Cape Town - The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Friday announced the groups and schedule for the 2016 World Twenty20.
The event will be staged across eight venues in India from 8 March to 3 April.
A total of 35 matches will be played in the 27-day tournament in Bengaluru, Chennai, Dharamsala, Kolkata, Mohali, Mumbai, Nagpur and Delhi.
Delhi and Mumbai will host the semi-finals on March 30 and 3, respectively, while Eden Gardens in Kolkata will be the venue of the April 3 final.
The men’s event will carry a total prize money of $5.6m, which is an 86 percent increase from the 2014 tournament.
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.
The first round matches will take place in Dharamsala and Nagpur from March 8-13 and will feature Bangladesh, Netherlands, Ireland, debutants 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 hosts India in the Super 10 stage.
SOUTH AFRICA POOLED WITH DEFENDING CHAMPIONS
Defending champions 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 winners 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 Delhi on March 28.
Hosts India, who won the inaugural tournament in South Africa in 2007, are in Super 10 Group 2 along with 2009 winners Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and the Group A winner. India will launch their campaign in Nagpur against New Zealand on March 15, while they will go head to head with Pakistan in Dharamsala on March 19. Their other matches will be against the Group A winner in Bengaluru on March 23 and Australia in Mohali on March 27.
Pakistan will take on the Group A winner in Kolkata on March 16, before locking horns with traditional rivals India in Dharamsala on March 19. Their remaining two matches will be in Mohali against New Zealand and Australia on March 22 and 25, respectively.
England, who won the 2010 tournament in the West Indies, take on 2012 winner the West Indies in Mumbai on March 16, followed by matches against South Africa (March 18 in Mumbai), the Group B winner (March 23 in New Delhi) and Sri Lanka (March 26 in New Delhi).
After taking on England in their tournament opener, the West Indies will square off against Sri Lanka (March 20 in Bengaluru), South Africa (March 25 in Nagpur) and the Group B winner (March 27 in Nagpur).
First round (group winners to progress to second round)
Group A - Bangladesh, Netherlands, Ireland and Oman
Group B - Zimbabwe, Scotland, Hong Kong and Afghanistan
Second round groups
Super 10 Group 1 – Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, England and winner group B (Q1B)
Super 10 Group 2 – India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and winner group A (Q1A)