Final rematch to begin T20 title defence

Troy Whittaker |

Australia’s home Twenty20 World Cup title defence will begin against New Zealand at the SCG on October 22 – a 2021 final rematch.

Fixtures for the 2022 tournament were released on Friday with Australia’s Group 1 pool also featuring England and Afghanistan.

Two more opponents – the winner of Group A and runner-up of Group B – will be decided by the first-round action.

Originally scheduled in Australia in 2020 but postponed due to COVID-19, the World Cup will start its first round with 2014 champions Sri Lanka facing minnows Namibia in Geelong on October 16.

The Australia-New Zealand clash will open the Super 12 stage on October 22 – some 11 months after Aaron Finch’s team won their maiden T20 World Cup title with an eight-wicket victory in Dubai.

Other draw highlights include India taking on rivals Pakistan at the MCG for the first time on October 23. South Africa and Bangladesh are also in their Group 2 pool.

“T20 is the global growth format for cricket and the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 will play a huge role in inspiring our next generation of players and fans as the world’s best players descend on Australia and showcase the very best of our sport,” International Cricket Council CEO Geoff Allardice said.

“The release of fixtures is always a great moment in the delivery of a World Cup as fans start to get excited about opening games, head to heads and knock-out stages.

“This schedule offers so much, from the 2014 champions Sri Lanka opening the event, to our defending champions Australia starting with a rematch of the 2021 Men’s T20 World Cup Final against New Zealand and of course India taking on Pakistan at the MCG. 

“We know that hundreds of thousands of passionate cricket fans will turn out to support every single one of the 16 teams across all seven of our host cities, which is what makes it so special for the players. 

“You only need to cast your mind back to the brilliant ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia to know that this is going to be a wonderful event for players and fans alike.” 

The World Cup will be played across Adelaide, Brisbane, Geelong, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney,  culminating in the final under lights at the MCG on November 13.

Australia’s draw

Saturday, October 22 v New Zealand at the SCG

Tuesday, October 25 v Group A winner at Perth Stadium

Friday, October 28 – v England at the MCG

Monday, October 31 v Group B runner-up at the Gabba

Friday, November 4 v Afghanistan at Adelaide Oval