Melbourne will host the finals of both the women's and men's World T20 tournaments in 2020, the International Cricket Council has revealed today.
For the first time, the men's and women's tournaments will be played as standalone events in the same host country, with the women's competition to run from February 21 to March 8 while the men's tournament will be held between October 18 to November 15 in the same year.
But the finals of the respective events have been granted equal billing when it comes to the venue they will be staged in, with both to be played at Australia's biggest stadium, the Melbourne Cricket Ground – the same ground that hosted the 2015 men's World Cup final.
Eight Australian cities and 13 venues will host matches during the two events: Melbourne joined by Sydney, Canberra, Geelong, Hobart, Perth, Brisbane and Adelaide.
The semi-finals of the 16-team men's event will be played at the SCG and Adelaide Oval, while the two women's semi-finals will be played at the SCG on consecutive days.
The men's event has been expanded from the previous event in 2016. The 'Super 10' stage will now be a 'Super 12'. The top eight ranked teams at a to-be-determined cut-off date will automatically advance to the Super 12 stage, with the remaining four spots filled by the top two teams from the two pools of four that will play a group stage.
The 10-team women's competition will culminate in the final at the MCG on International Women's Day on March 8.
There, the ICC hope to draw a world-record attendance for a women's sporting event.
In July last year, a sold-out crowd of 24,000 packed Lord's to watch England defeat India in the final of the 50-over Women's World Cup.
The current Australian record crowd for a women's event is the 41,000 that turned out to a football match in Adelaide in 1929, while the world record mark is the 90,185 that witnessed the women's soccer World Cup final in California in 1999. The MCG has the capacity to eclipse that mark, with 93,013 fans in the venue for the 2015 men's cricket World Cup final.
"I'd like to thank Cricket Australia and their partners in Government at all levels for their commitment to the ICC World T20 in 2020. The ambition they have shown firstly in delivering stand-alone men's and women's events and then in the venue selection that will I hope set a record for the biggest ever attendance at a women's sporting event is exciting for the sport," ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said in a statement.
Women's group matches will be played at the WACA Ground, Melbourne's Junction Oval, Canberra's Manuka Oval and Sydney's Spotless Stadium, with warm-ups played at Brisbane's Allan Border Field and Adelaide's Gladys Elphick Park (Narnungga).
In addition to the MCG, SCG and the Adelaide Oval, men's matches will be played at the new Optus Stadium in Perth, Geelong's Kardinia Park, the Gabba and Blundstone Arena.
"Australia is extremely privileged to be hosting the ICC World T20 tournaments in 2020," said David Peever, Cricket Australia chairman and head of the ICC World T20 2020 Local Organising Committee.
"ICC World T20 2020 provides a unique opportunity to engage the whole community and inspire the next generation to love cricket."
Australia's women have won three World T20 titles from five previous tournaments to date, and will be attempting to win back the crown they surrendered to the West Indies in 2016 when they travel to the Caribbean for the 2018 Women's World T20 this November.
The Windies also took out the men's title in 2016 and the four-year gap between men's tournaments means they will go into 2020 as the defending champions.
Australia's men have never won a World T20 title, with their best result a runners-up finish in the Caribbean in 2010.
The announcement of the World T20 venues comes as Australia prepares for a Gillette T20 INTL tri-series with England and New Zealand, starting with a match against the Black Caps in Sydney on Saturday.
The full teams and schedule for the World T20 tournaments will be confirmed at a later date.