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World T20: No India games at Wankhede

Hosts can play in Mumbai only if Dhoni & Co reach semi-finals

Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium, the venue of the 2011 World Cup final, has not been allotted a single India match in next year’s ICC World T20 tournament to be held from March 8 to April 3.

Also read: ICC recce team want changes at Wankhede Stadium

A general view of the 2011 ICC World Cup final between India and  Sri Lanka played at the Wankhede Stadium. PIC/GETTY IMAGES
A general view of the 2011 ICC World Cup final between India and Sri Lanka played at the Wankhede Stadium. PIC/GETTY IMAGES

The 40-year-old venue has been awarded three league matches and the second semi-final (on March 31). New Delhi will host the first semi-final while the final will be held at Eden Gardens in Kolkata (April 3).

BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur
BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur during the announcement of the World T20 schedule in Mumbai yesterday. Pic/Onkar Devlekar

Mumbaikars will only get to see Team India if MS Dhoni & Co finish in the Top 2 in Group 2 to be eligible to play the second semi-final. A Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) official told mid-day: “It was a policy that venues holding knockout matches will not be allotted India games in the league stage.” The BCCI followed a similar policy while deciding the fixtures for the 2011 World Cup. Wankhede Stadium did not host any India match in the group stage, but staged the final which the hosts won by beating Sri Lanka.

The men’s Super 10 fixtures at Wankhede are as follows:
March 16: West Indies vs England, March 18: South Africa vs England, March 20: South Africa vs Q1B.

Women’s ties in Chennai
Speculation over Chennai missing out on hosting World T20 matches were put to rest as the BCCI allotted women’s matches to Chepauk. The ICC World T20 men’s event will be played in two stages. Two groups of four teams each will play the first round matches in Dharamsala and Nagpur from March 8 to 13. Winners of each group will join the eight teams, who have secured direct entry, in the Super 10 stage which will have five teams each in a group. India, who have been placed together in Group 2, will kick off their campaign against New Zealand in Nagpur on March 15. Dhoni’s men will then play arch-rivals Pakistan on March 19 in Dharamsala.

BCCI Secretary Anurag Thakur said Dharamsala is the right place to play the India-Pakistan tie. “Looking at the heat generated while the discussion was on whether the series will be held between India and Pakistan, it needed a cooler weather and Dharamsala gives the right atmosphere,” said Thakur, who is also the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Associaiton chief.

India will play the qualifying team on March 23 in Bangalore and will travel to Mohali on March 27 for their tie against Australia.

Pakistan will play their semi-final in New Delhi regardless of finishing first or second in their group. This is to avoid any untoward incidents and protests. Meanwhile, it is learnt Australia have refused to play the two warm-up matches that the ICC has allotted to every team because of their tight schedule.

ICC WORLD TWENTY20 GROUPINGS

>> Men's:
First round (group winners to progress to second round)
>> Group A: Bangladesh, Netherlands, Ireland and Oman
>> Group B: Zimbabwe, Scotland, Hong Kong and Afghanistan Super 10 stage
>> Group 1: Sri Lanka, South Africa, West Indies, England and winner Group B (Q1B)
>> Group 2: India, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and winner Group A (Q1A)

>>  Women’s
>> Group A: Australia, SA, NZ, Sri Lanka and Ireland
>> Group B: England, West Indies, India, Pakistan and B’desh

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