T20 World Cup 2021: ICC schedule, England fixtures, format - and where the cricket competition is being held

England will continue to be without star all-rounder Ben Stokes for the Twenty20 World Cup 2021

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England will begin their Twenty20 World Cup campaign against West Indies in a rematch of the 2016 final.

Eoin Morgan’s side are aiming to add the sprint format title to their 50-over crown, which was won during a thrilling final at Lord’s in 2019.

“The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is going to be brilliant,” Morgan said via the International Cricket Council.

“The standard of T20 cricket around the world is improving exponentially and every nation has a chance of becoming World Champions. It should be one of the closest and most competitive world tournaments to date and we can’t wait to get started.”

Here is everything you need to know about it.

When is the 2021 Twenty20 World Cup?

The tournament, which was scheduled to take place in India but owing to the coronavirus pandemic has been moved to the United Arab Emirates and Oman, officially begins on 17 October with round one games in Group A and B.

Hosts Oman and Papua New Guinea have the honour of starting the 2021 World Cup with a 2pm local time (10am GMT) Group B match on that day before Scotland and Bangladesh, the other sides in the group, do battle later in the evening at 6pm.

The final will take place on 14 November in Dubai.

Australia were set to host the T20 World Cup in 2020 but the outbreak of Covid-19 saw the tournament moved back two years with the 2021 edition remaining in its scheduled place.

When are England playing?

England’s tournament will get under way in a repeat of the memorable 2016 T20 final, where Ben Stokes was hit for four consecutive sixes in the last over by Carlos Brathwaite to help West Indies win by four wickets.

That Super 12 Group One encounter takes place on 23 October in Dubai and England will take on one of hosts Oman, Papua New Guinea, Scotland, or Bangladesh four days later in Abu Dhabi.

Old foes Australia are England’s opponents on 30 October in Dubai, with the upcoming Ashes series in the winter set to add more spice to the encounter, before two days later Morgan’s men face one of Ireland, Holland, Sri Lanka or Namibia in Sharjah.

A contest with South Africa at the same venue concludes England’s Super 12 Group One campaign, and the 2010 T20 winners will hope to have done enough to reach the semi-finals, which occur on 10 November in Abu Dhabi and on 11 November in Dubai.

Three days later the final takes place in the latter city.

Who is on the team?

England will continue to be without star all-rounder Ben Stokes for next month’s Twenty20 World Cup, but pace bowler Tymal Mills has been called up to the squad for the first time in almost five years.

Stokes is currently taking an indefinite hiatus from the game to prioritise his mental health and recover fully from a finger injury and has not played competitively since July.

Sussex quick Mills has been included despite earning the last of his England caps in February 2017.

The left-armer had been name-checked by captain Eoin Morgan as a potential bolter earlier in the season and excelled as a death bowler for Southern Brave in the inaugural edition of The Hundred.

The 29-year-old effectively takes up a vacancy created by Jofra Archer’s injury enforced omission, while there is good news for another southpaw seamer, David Willey.

Willey was axed from England’s triumphant World Cup squad two years ago, making way at the eleventh hour for the newly qualified Archer. Two years on he can finally banish some of the disappointment after edging Tom Curran to the final bowling place.

But Sam Curran, who was originally a part of the squad, has been ruled out due to a lower back injury, meaning his brother Tom moves up from the reserves to the full World Cup squad, whilst seamer Reece Topley joins the reserve list.

England T20 World Cup squad:

E Morgan (c), M Ali, J Bairstow, S Billings, J Buttler, T Curran, C Jordan, L Livingstone, D Malan, T Mills, A Rashid, J Roy, D Willey, C Woakes, M Wood.

Reserves: R Topley, L Dawson, J Vince.

When are Scotland and Ireland playing?

Group Two consists of India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan and two qualifiers.

The top two from the group progress into the Super 12 and Scotland also face Papua New Guinea on 19 October and take on Oman two days later.

Meanwhile Ireland, who are in Group A, play Holland on 18 October, do battle with Sri Lanka two days later and conclude the initial phase of the tournament against Namibia with the teams finishing first and second also qualifying for the Super 12 stage.

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