West Indies to start ICC World T20 title defence against India

DUBAI, UAE, CMC – The West Indies will open its title defence against India in the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014.

The ICC yesterday announced the match schedules and ticket sales plans for the Tournament, which will be staged from March 16 to April 6, 2014.

The West Indies’ men will defend the title they won last year in Colombo while Australia’s women will aim to complete a hat-trick of titles after having won the previous two finals in Barbados and Colombo.

As many as 60 tournament matches (35 men’s and 25 women’s) will be played across Chittagong, Dhaka and Sylhet in the 22-day tournament. As in the past, the women’s semi-finals and final will be held on the same day as the men’s semi-finals and final, and at the same venue.

The format for the men’s event in next year’s tournament has been changed following an increase in teams from 12 to 16.

As the teams’ seeding are based on the Reliance ICC T20I Team Rankings as on October 8, 2012, the top eight sides following the conclusion of the ICC World Twenty20 Sri Lanka 2012 will play directly in the Super 10 stage, while Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, which finished outside the top eight, will participate in the first round that will be held from March 16-21.

The first round of the men’s event will include eight sides that will be divided into two groups of four teams each, with the table-toppers progressing to the Super 10 stage.

In the first round, Group A will feature host Bangladesh alongside three teams that will qualify from the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier UAE 2013, to be staged from November 15-30. Group B will include Zimbabwe, which will be joined by another three teams from the upcoming qualifiers. As such, the two groups will be finalised on November 30.

Group 1 – Sri Lanka, England, South Africa, New Zealand, Group B Qualifier 1 (Q1B)

Group 2 – West Indies, India, Pakistan, Australia, Group A Qualifier 1 (Q1A)

Reigning champion the West Indies will launch its title defence against India in an evening match on Sunday March 23.

Earlier on the same day, Pakistan will lock horns with Australia, which is looking for the only global title that has eluded it to date.

If Bangladesh reaches the Super 10 stage, it will play all its matches in Dhaka, facing the West Indies on March 25, India on March 28, Pakistan on March 30 and Australia on April 1.

The prize money for the men’s event will be US$3 million, with the winner receiving US$1.1 million and the losing finalist collecting US$550,000.

The ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2014 has been increased from eight to 10 teams after a recent ICC Board decision. The first round matches of the women’s event will take place in Sylhet from March 23 to April 2, with the top two sides from each Group progressing to the semi-finals.

The 10 sides have been divided into two Groups:

Group A – Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan, Ireland

Group B – England, West Indies, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh

Defending champion Australia will kick-off its campaign on March 23 when it will take on New Zealand. This game will be followed by the match between South Africa and Pakistan, which, along with Sri Lanka, qualified for the Bangladesh event after having reached the final of the qualifying tournament held in Dublin in August.

Host Bangladesh will make its maiden appearance on the world stage on March 26when it will play last year’s semi-finalist, West Indies. 2009 champion England will start its campaign on March 24 against the West Indies.

The prize money for the women’s event will be US$180,000, with the winner collecting US$65,000 and the losing finalist getting US$25,000.

“The ICC World Twenty20 is the pinnacle of Twenty20 International cricket as it brings together the world’s best cricketers in a short and sharp nation versus nation tournament,” said ICC General Manager – Commercial, Campbell Jamieson, who attended the fixtures and ticket sales launch ceremony in Dhaka on Sunday.

“The successes of the previous editions in South Africa, England, the West Indies and Sri Lanka have proven the popularity of this tournament, and it is exciting that this event will now be staged in a country like Bangladesh which has a very proud cricketing tradition.

“Bangladesh hosted the ICC Champions Trophy in 1998 (then known as the ICC Knock-Out) and most recently the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, along with India and Sri Lanka. Following the legacies of these two successful events, as well as the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup 2004, I’m confident that Bangladesh will once again produce a world-class tournament.”

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