England to face Afghanistan in first round of T20 World Cup

England will begin their T20 World Cup against Afghanistan and Scotland have drawn a first-round match against the West Indies.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup 2022 fixtures were announced on Thursday night, with England drawn in their second match against hosts and defending champions Australia on 28 October in Melbourne before backing up against New Zealand on 1 November in Brisbane.

Scotland will face an as-yet unknown qualifier in Hobart on 19 October. Ireland are yet to qualify for the World Cup.

ICC chief executive Geoff Allardice said the release of fixtures is a “great moment in the delivery of a World Cup as fans start to get excited about opening games, head to heads and knock-out stages”.

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“This schedule offers so much, from the 2014 Champions Sri Lanka opening the event, to our defending champions Australia starting with a rematch of the 2021 Men’s T20 World Cup Final against New Zealand and of course India taking on Pakistan at the MCG.

“We know that hundreds of thousands of passionate cricket fans will turn out to support every single one of the 16 teams across all seven of our host cities which is what makes it so special for the players. You only need to cast your mind back to the brilliant ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2020 in Australia to know that this is going to be a wonderful event for players and fans alike.”

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