The International Cricket Council (ICC) today announced the match schedule and unveiled the event logo of the ICC World Twenty20 2012, which will be staged in Sri Lanka from 18 September to 7 October.
Reigning champion England will start its title defence at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo exactly one year from today, on 21 September, against one of the two qualifiers for the tournament. Stuart Broad’s side will complete its opening group commitments two days later against 2007 champion India at the same venue.
Australia, chasing the one global trophy to have eluded them, will go head-to-head with the other qualifier in Colombo on 19 September, part of a double-header that also features India and a qualifier.
Sri Lanka, which lost to England in the semi-final of last year’s tournament in the West Indies, will open its campaign against Zimbabwe under lights in Hambantota on the first day of the tournament (18 September) before taking on South Africa at the same venue on 22 September.
If Sri Lanka reaches the Super Eight, it will then go on to play in Pallekele before moving to Colombo if it qualifies for the knock-out stage.
Pakistan, which won the 2009 tournament in England, has been grouped with New Zealand and Bangladesh, and will play its matches in Pallekele on 23 and 25 September respectively. Pallekele will also host the New Zealand-Bangladesh match on 21 September.
If everything goes according to pre-tournament seedings then Pakistan and India will lock horns in a Super Eight match in Colombo on Sunday 30 September.
The group stages of the women’s tournament will take place in Galle where host Sri Lanka will take on one of the tournament qualifiers on 26 September, the first day of women’s matches. On the same date, last year’s losing finalist New Zealand will meet the West Indies.
Australia’s women will start their push for back-to-back trophies against India on 27 September, the same day which will see 2009 winner England launch its campaign against the other qualifier.
A total of 42 matches, including 27 men’s and 15 women’s matches, will be played over 20 days at four venues – R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo, Pallekele, Hambantota and Galle, with R Premadasa Stadium hosting the finals on Sunday 7 October.
ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat said: “The ICC World Twenty20 is now a marquee event in Twenty20 cricket where nations challenge each other for the most coveted title in the shortest format of the game.
“The previous editions in South Africa, England and the West Indies have smartly established the ICC World Twenty20 as a major global event that is not only exciting and entertaining but embraces both men’s and women’s cricket.
Nothing beats nation-versus-nation contests and when these battles take place in the newest, sharpest and quickest form of the game then you can feel the excitement in fans. We all know how passionate and loyal the Sri Lankan public is towards our Great Sport and we will ensure the tickets are affordable so that they can enjoy the event. Following the legacies and success of the recent ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, I am confident that the hosts, Sri Lanka, will deliver a world class event.”