LAHORE: India and Pakistan will lock horns in a blockbuster ICC Twenty20 World Cup group clash for the second year running after the fixtures for the October-November 2022 tournament in Australia were announced on Friday. The arch-rivals will lock horns at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on October 23, a day after Australia begin their title defence against New Zealand in Sydney – a repeat of the 2021 final in Dubai where Aaron Finch’s team won their maiden crown. The 16-nation tournament will begin on October 16 with Sri Lanka facing Namibia in Geelong – one of seven venues as Australia hosts for the first time. The hosts have been drawn in Group 1 of the Super 12 phase of the competition alongside New Zealand, England, Afghanistan, the winners of Group A and runners-up in Group B from the first round. Group 2 will feature India, Pakistan, South Africa, Bangladesh plus the Group B winners and Group A runners-up. Namibia and Sri Lanka will be joined by two teams from qualifiers in Group A while West Indies and Scotland will join another two in Group B. After the first stage, four from eight teams will join the top 8 directly qualified teams in the Super 12 round. The spotlight will be on the Group 2 India-Pakistan contest at the MCG, with the two in recent years only meeting in multi-nation events due to tensions over occupied Kashmir. Pakistan recorded their first win over India in World Cups last year in Dubai when they hammered Virat Kohli’s team. On three days, during the Super 12s, there will be three games taking place. These are all Group 2 games, which has Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, South Africa, and two teams coming through from the first round of matches. The days in question are October 27, when two matches will be played in Sydney and one in Perth, then October 30, when two matches are scheduled to be held in Perth and one in Brisbane, and finally November 6, when Adelaide will host two matches and Melbourne one. The two semi-finals will be held in Sydney (November 9) and Adelaide (November 10) before the final at the MCG on November 13 under lights. Australia had been due to host the T20 World Cup in 2020 but it was delayed two years because of the coronavirus pandemic with India retaining the 2021 edition – though that edition had to be shifted to Dubai because of Covid. Matches will be played in Adelaide, Brisbane, Geelong, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney. The ICC T20 World Cup is the pinnacle global event for T20 cricket, the game’s fastest growing format.