Dharamsala will host the World Twenty20 2016 match between India and Pakistan on March 19 while the tournament semi-finals will be played in Delhi and Mumbai, according to the fixtures released by the ICC on Friday. The men's event will be played in two stages between March 8 and April 3, while the Women's World Twenty20 is scheduled between March 15 and April 3.
Chennai, which was in danger of being cut as a host city due to the disputed stands at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, has been allotted women's matches.
India, Pakistan, New Zealand and Australia are placed in Group 2 of the Super 10s stage while South Africa, England, West Indies and Sri Lanka are in Group 1. Two teams will join the Super 10s after the first stage of the tournament, to be held in Dharamsala and Nagpur between March 8 and 13.
The eight teams competing in the first round have also been split into two groups. Bangladesh, Netherlands, Ireland and Oman have been slotted into Group A, while Group B comprises Zimbabwe, Scotland, Afghanistan and Hong Kong. The top team from Group A will join India, Pakistan, Australia and New Zealand in Group 2 of the Super 10s stage, while the top-placed team from Group B moves to Group 1.
The opening match of the Super 10s stage will be played between India and New Zealand on March 15 in Nagpur. The hosts will then play Pakistan on March 19, the qualifying team in the group on March 23 in Bangalore and Australia in Mohali on March 27.
The top two sides from each of the Super 10s groups will move into the semi-finals. The semi-finals of the men's and women's tournaments will be played in Delhi and Mumbai on March 30 and 31 respectively, with the finals in Kolkata on April 3. Pakistan, should they qualify, will play their semi-final in New Delhi regardless of whether they place first or second in their group; the other qualifier from their group will play the semi-final allotted to Mumbai.
This will avoid a scenario where Pakistan play in Mumbai, where a local political party, the Shiv Sena, has for several years "banned" Pakistan matches in that city. The most recent protest was in October, when Shiv Sena held protests at the BCCI office in Mumbai over talks between the India and Pakistan boards for a proposed series. Following the protests, the ICC withdrew Aleem Dar from the last two ODIs of the South Africa series [the fifth match was held in Mumbai] and former Pakistan cricketers Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar, who were in India on commentary duty, also returned home early.
Defending champions Sri Lanka will begin their campaign against the qualifying team on March 17 in Kolkata, before playing West Indies in Bangalore on March 20. Their matches against England and South Africa will be played in Delhi on March 26 and 28 respectively.
The women's tournament will kick off from March 15 with India taking on Bangladesh and New Zealand playing Sri Lanka. The 10 teams in the women's competition have been split into two groups. Three-time champions Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Ireland are in Group A, while Group B features England, West Indies, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The top two teams from each group will progress to the semi-final stage.