6 Jan 2024

Black Caps face Afghanistan first up at T20 World Cup

1:37 pm on 6 January 2024
Black Caps batter Martin Guptill is bowled by Rashid Khan of Afghanistan during their 2021 T20 World Cup  match in Abu Dhabi.

Black Caps batter Martin Guptill is bowled by Rashid Khan of Afghanistan during their 2021 T20 World Cup match in Abu Dhabi. Photo: photosport

The Black Caps will open their campaign at this year's T20 World Cup against Afghanistan in Guyana, while co-hosts the West Indies are also in their group.

The ninth edition of the tournament, which will be co-hosted by the United States, runs from 1-29 June, starting with the US playing Canada in Dallas.

Another highlight was the grouping of rivals India and Pakistan in the same group, with their clash to be played in New York on 9 June.

After meeting Afghanistan on 7 June, New Zealand have Group C games against the West Indies, Uganda, and Papua New Guinea, all of which are in Trinidad.

Dallas, Florida and New York will host US group matches, while the Super Eight, semi-finals and final will all be staged in the West Indies. The final will be played in Barbados on 29 June.

A record 20 teams were split into four groups with 55 games to be played in the month-long tournament, with the top two from each group qualifying for the Super Eight round.

"The ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2024 marks an exciting expansion of our sport with more teams than ever before set to compete in this event," ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice said in a statement.

"It's going to be an incredible spectacle bringing together 20 international teams from Africa, the Americas, Asia, East-Asia Pacific and Europe."

Defending champions England are in the same group as Australia, who won the 2021 tournament and also won the 50-over World Cup last year. The two Ashes rivals play each other on 8 June in Barbados.

The 2023 one-day international World Cup schedule was announced barely four months before the tournament began while there were also many matches rescheduled at the last minute, leaving travelling fans irate.

With the T20 World Cup schedule being released six months before the tournament, Cricket West Indies chief executive Johnny Grave said it marks a "significant milestone" in their preparations.

"We know that teams, fans and cricket enthusiasts worldwide have been eagerly awaiting this announcement. And now that it is available, it provides a roadmap for the thrilling journey that lies ahead," Grave said.

T20 World Cup groups

Group A: India, Pakistan, Ireland, Canada and United States

Group B: England, Australia, Namibia, Scotland and Oman

Group C: New Zealand, West Indies, Afghanistan, Uganda and Papua New Guinea

Group D: South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Netherlands and Nepal

- Reuters