Australia to start World Cup defence against New Zealand

Full schedule for the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia reveals an India v Pakistan blockbuster at the MCG on October 23

Australia will begin their T20 World Cup defence with a rematch of last year's final against trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand at the SCG.

And the MCG will host a blockbuster clash between India and Pakistan on the opening weekend of the main round of the month-long tournament.


The schedule for this year's tournament, which will be hosted in Australia, was revealed today, with matches across seven venues from October 16, with the final at the MCG on November 13.

Australia will play games in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide, in that order, before the semi-finals in Sydney and Adelaide. 

It will be the first men's global ICC event held in Australia since the 2015 World Cup and is the rescheduled tournament from two years ago that was cancelled due to the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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This year's tournament will again feature 16 teams and be run in the same Super 12 format as the previous edition held in the UAE last October-November.

The Australian team that won their first ever T20 World Cup in Dubai last year have been grouped with New Zealand, England, Afghanistan and two teams that will come through first round of the tournament.

India, Pakistan, South Africa, Bangladesh and two further teams from the first round will make up the second group.

Those first round matches will feature Sri Lanka, West Indies, Namibia and Scotland – who all made the Super 12 stage at last year's event to gain automatic entry to this year's tournament – plus four more teams that will come through a qualifying event this year.

As always at a major event, all eyes will be on a rare match between old rivals India and Pakistan, with the prospect of more than 90,000 people watching them play the MCG on October 23.

The two sides met at the Adelaide Oval during the 2015 World Cup, a match that sold out in just minutes.

India's game against South Africa during that tournament, when more than 86,000 attended, offers a preview of what is sure to be a bumper crowd.

Image Id: C712F7F910634F678C7A3147AE40D1BF Image Caption: A pro-India crowd of more than 86,000 packed out the MCG at the 2015 World Cup // Getty

Free-to-air broadcast details for this year's tournament are yet to be confirmed, but Australia's anti-siphoning legislation means fans should be able to see at least Australia's matches on free-to-air television.

The Nine Network had been in line to show Australia's games, the finals and select other matches when this tournament was originally scheduled to be held in late 2020, but the network has not confirmed it has the rights for this year's rescheduled tournament.

All matches will again be on Foxtel and Kayo, with Foxtel's current deal with Star Sports, the ICC's primary broadcast rights holder, running until the conclusion of the 2023 ODI World Cup.

Previously, the Nine Network has been in a joint-venture with Foxtel to fulfill the free-to-air requirements of the anti-siphoning legislation, but that hit a snag last year when Nine did not show any games from the 2021 T20 World Cup.

The first-round games will be played in Tasmania and Geelong in the first week of the tournament with six days of double headers before the Super 12 stage begins.

That will start with the rematch of last year's final between Australia and the Black Caps from 6pm AEDT at the SCG, before England and Afghanistan meet from 10pm AEDT at Perth's Optus Stadium.

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Australia will play their second game in Perth on Tuesday, October 25, starting at 10pm AEDT, against the top qualifier from the first round's group A, which would likely be Sri Lanka.

They then meet England at the MCG on October 28 in a Friday double-header, with Afghanistan's game against a qualifier being played before cricket's oldest rivals face off under lights from 7pm AEDT.

Australia will play the second-placed qualifier from the first round's Group B at the Gabba on Monday October 31 from 7pm AEDT.

Their final Super 12 game will be against Afghanistan at the Adelaide Oval – a ground the Afghans' key spinner Rashid Khan knows well from his time with the Strikers in the BBL – in another double header, with New Zealand to face a qualifier beforehand.

Tasmania's Blundstone Arena will host the most World Cup games of any venue with nine: three games in the Super 12 stage to go with the six from the first round.

The MCG will host six Super 12 games plus the final, while the SCG and Adelaide Oval each host six Super 12 games plus a semi-final.

Perth's Optus Stadium is scheduled to host five games, with England, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and South Africa all confirmed visitors.

The Gabba will host the least number of matches with just four games in three days, three of which will feature qualifiers from the first round, while England meet New Zealand on a Tuesday night.

ICC T20 World Cup 2022

First round

Group A: Sri Lanka, Namibia, two qualifiers

Group B: West Indies, Scotland, two qualifiers

Super 12 stage

Group 1: Australia, Afghanistan, England, New Zealand, A1, B2

Group 2: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, South Africa, B1, A2

Australia's T20 World Cup 2022 fixtures

Oct 22: v New Zealand, SCG, 6pm AEDT

Oct 25: v A1, Optus Stadium, 10pm AEDT

Oct 28: v England, MCG, 7pm AEDT

Oct 31: v B2, Gabba, 7pm AEDT

Nov 4: v Afghanistan, Adelaide Oval, 7pm AEDT


Nov 9: SCG, 7pm AEDT

Nov 10: Adelaide Oval, 7pm AEDT


Nov 13: MCG, 7pm AEDT