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ICC T20: Dharamshala to host India vs Pakistan match, finals at Eden Gardens

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MUMBAI: Sourav Ganguly's tenure as Cricket Association of Bengal president is already off to a flying start. While as a player the southpaw made his crackling test cricket debut with a century at Lords, as an administrator now, he?s writing his own script. Eden Gardens, which was denied a single India match during 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, will now host the final of the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup. The International Cricket Council (ICC), after rounds of inspection, finally gave a green signal to Eden Gardens.

To add to the delight of Indian cricket fans, the board meeting in Mumbai led by ICC chairman Shashank Manohar also announced an India vs Pakistan fixture, which will be played on 19 March, 2016. The match between the arch rivals will be hosted by Dharmshala.

The International T20 tournament will kickstart from 8 March, 2016 and continue till 3 April, 2016. Other than Eden Gardens and Dharmshala, the tournament will be staged across six other stadiums. Star India is the official broadcaster of the tournament.

The International T20 tournament will kickstart from 8 March, 2016 and continue till 3 April, 2016. Other than Eden Gardens and Dharmshala, the tournament will be staged across six other stadiums. Star India is the official broadcaster of the tournament.

The men?s event will carry a total prize money of $5.6 million, which is an 86 per cent increase from the 2014 tournament, while the total prize money for the women?s event is $400,000, which is a 122 per cent increase from the Bangladesh event held in 2014.

The first round matches in the men?s event will take place in Dharamsala and Nagpur from 8-13 March and will feature Bangladesh, Netherlands, Ireland, debutant Oman in Group A and Zimbabwe, Scotland, Hong Kong and Afghanistan in Group B. In a double-header on the opening day on 8 March, Zimbabwe will face Hong Kong in the afternoon match, to be followed by the evening match between Scotland and Afghanistan. Both the matches will be played in Nagpur.

Host country India, which won the inaugural tournament in South Africa in 2007, is in Super 10 Group 2 along with 2009 winner Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and the Group A winner. India will launch its campaign in Nagpur against New Zealand on 15 March, while it will go head to head with Pakistan in Dharamsala on 19 March. Its other matches will be against the Group A winner in Bengaluru on 23 March and Australia in Mohali on 27 March.

Manohar, who attended the launch ceremony in Mumbai, said, ?India is a country where cricket is a religion and not many places can match the passion for the game like India. I am fully confident that the Board of Control for Cricket in India will deliver an outstanding world cricket event, just like the ICC Cricket World Cups in 1987, 1996 and 2011.?

He further added, ?The ICC and BCCI are fully committed and will work together to make this a memorable event. I invite fans from across the world to witness fast-paced cricketing action on the field and enjoy the hospitality and culture of India, off it.?

ICC CEO David Richardson said, ?The ICC World Twenty20 is an event, which puts the world?s best cricketers in the shortest format of the game against each other in a nation versus nation contest. The Twenty20 format provides the perfect vehicle by which the ICC can further globalise the game, providing international exposure and opportunity to our top associate and affiliate members. The ICC World Twenty20 event structure is designed to provide highly competitive matches throughout, with eight evenly-matched sides fighting it out in the first round and the best two then getting in the mix with the top eight ranked teams in the Super 10 stage where the intensity and competition will be of the very highest level.?

BCCI secretary Anurag Thakur said, ?We, as hosts, are fully prepared to organise one of the most entertaining spectacles in world cricket. We draw experience from hosting three ICC Cricket World Cups and are ready to make the ICC World Twenty20 India 2016 one of the most memorable events.?

Buoyed by the preparations so far, he added, ?Our preparations are in full swing, and BCCI and ICC are working together to make it a lifetime experience for the players and the fans. India is a vibrant country ? young, full of colour, energy and exuberance - and is very much like the concept of Twenty20 cricket itself. We would encourage everyone involved with the game to experience the best of India.?

The Full Schedule:

Tournament schedule (?M? denotes men?s match; ?W? denotes women?s match; PM means afternoon match and Eve. means night match. Match timing to be confirmed in due course)

Tue, 8 Mar ? Zimbabwe v Hong Kong (PM), Nagpur; Scotland v Afghanistan (Eve.), Nagpur

Wed, 9 Mar ? Bangladesh v Netherlands (PM), Dharamsala; Ireland v Oman (Eve.), Dharamsala

Thu, 10 Mar ? Scotland v Zimbabwe (PM), Nagpur; Hong Kong v Afghanistan (Eve.)

Fri, 11 Mar ? Netherlands v Oman (PM), Dharamsala; Bangladesh v Ireland (Eve.), Dharamsala

Sat, 12 Mar ? Zimbabwe v Afghanistan (PM), Nagpur; Scotland v Hong Kong (Eve.), Nagpur

Sun, 13 Mar ? Netherlands v Ireland (PM), Dharamsala; Bangladesh v Oman (Eve.), Dharamsala

Tue, 15 Mar ? India v Bangladesh (W) (PM), Bengaluru; New Zealand v Sri Lanka (W) (Eve.), New Delhi; New Zealand v India (M) (Eve), Nagpur

Wed, 16 Mar ? West Indies v England (M) (PM), Mumbai; Pakistan v Q1A (M) (Eve.), Kolkata; West Indies v Pakistan (W) (Eve.), Chennai

Thu, 17 Mar ? England v Bangladesh (W) (PM), Bengaluru; Sri Lanka v Q1B (M) (Eve.), Kolkata

Fri, 18 Mar ? New Zealand v Ireland (W) (PM), Mohali; Australia v New Zealand (M) (PM), Dharamsala; South Africa v England (M) (Eve.), Mumbai; Australia v South Africa (W) (Eve.), Nagpur

Sat, 19 Mar ? India v Pakistan (W) (PM), New Delhi; India v Pakistan (M) (Eve.), Dharamsala

Sun, 20 Mar ? South Africa v Q1B (M) (PM), Mumbai; West Indies v Bangladesh (W) (PM), Chennai; Sri Lanka v Ireland (W) (Eve.), Mohali; Sri Lanka v West Indies (M) (Eve.), Bengaluru

Mon, 21 Mar ? Australia v New Zealand (W) (PM), Nagpur; Australia v Q1A (M) (Eve.), Bengaluru

Tue, 22 Mar ? England v India (W) (PM), Dharamsala; New Zealand v Pakistan (M) (Eve.), Mohali

Wed, 23 Mar ? England v Q1B (M) (PM), New Delhi; India v Q1A (M), (Eve.), Bengaluru; South Africa v Ireland (W) (Eve.), Chennai

Thu, 24 Mar ? England v West Indies (W) (Eve.), Dharamsala; Australia v Sri Lanka (W) (PM), New Delhi; Pakistan v Bangladesh (W) (Eve.), New Delhi

Fri, 25 Mar ? Pakistan v Australia (M) (PM), Mohali; South Africa v West Indies (M), (Eve.), Nagpur

Sat, 26 Mar ? Australia v Ireland (W) (PM), New Delhi; Q1A v New Zealand (M) (PM), Kolkata; England v Sri Lanka (M) (Eve.), New Delhi; South Africa v New Zealand (W) (Eve.), Bengaluru

Sun, 27 Mar ? West Indies v India (W) (PM), Mohali; India v Australia (M) (Eve.), Mohali; England v Pakistan (W) (Eve.), Chennai; Q1B v West Indie (M) (PM), Nagpur;

Mon, 28 Mar ? South Africa v Sri Lanka (W) (PM), Bengaluru; South Africa v Sri Lanka (M) (Eve.), New Delhi

Tue, 29 Mar ? Rest/travel day

Wed, 30 Mar ? Women?s semi-final (2nd group A v 1st group B) (PM), New Delhi; men?s semi-final (Super 10 Group 1 2nd v Super 10 Group 2 1st) (Eve.), New Delhi

Thu, 31 Mar ? Women?s semi-final (1st group A v 2nd group B) (PM), Mumbai; men?s semi-final (Super 10 Group 1 1st v Super 10 Group 2 2nd) (Eve.), Mumbai

Fri, 1 Apr ? Rest/travel day

Sat, 2 Apr ? Rest/travel day

Sun, 3 April ? Women?s final (PM), Kolkata; men?s final (Eve.), Kolkata

*Warm-up schedule to be confirmed in due course

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