West Indies in tough World Cup T20 group

West Indies’ all-rounder Darren Sammy.
Associated Press / Lynne Sladky

Defending champions West Indies will open the defense of their title against New Zealand, in the highly anticipated edition of next year’s men’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia.

In the fixtures released recently by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the Caribbean side was placed in a tough group 1 alongside the likes of world number one side Pakistan, powerhouse Australia and two yet-to-be-determined qualifying teams.

Group 2 is headed by powerful India and includes England, South Africa and Afghanistan, along with two other teams from the qualifiers.

Twelve teams will contest the Super 12 first round, with eight automatic qualifiers joined by four teams from the qualifiers which will be contested from Oct. 18-23 in Group A and B.

The tournament will run from Oct. 24 to Nov. 15, 2020 in eight cities and 13 venues, with Sydney Cricket Ground hosting the opener between Australia and Pakistan on Oct. 24, and the Melbourne Cricket Ground staging the grand finals.

West Indies will round out their campaign on Nov. 7 against another team from the qualifiers.

Under former captain Darren Sammy, the Windies won the first of their titles in 2012 when the team beat hosts Sri Lanka in 2012 in the final in Colombo.

Their second triumph came in 2016 in Kolkata when they won a dramatic final in the last over against England.

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