Mumbai: India will host this year's 50-over World Cup between October 5 and November 19, according to the schedule released by the International Cricket Council on Tuesday, with the schedule for the showpiece event in India also confirming Pakistan's participation.
Defending champions England will play New Zealand in the opener at the world's biggest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad, which will also host the final.
The fixtures were revealed by the International Cricket Council during an event in Mumbai, less than four months before the start of the 50-overs tournament.
The arch-rivals will meet in the tournament's most anticipated match on Oct. 15 in Ahmedabad.
England's opener against New Zealand is a rematch of the 2019 final in which they prevailed via a now-scrapped boundary count rule.
Host India begin their campaign on October 8 against five-time World Cup winners Australia in Chennai. A total of 10 teams will participate in the showcase event, the first eight having already qualified through the Cricket World Cup Super League. The final two spots will be determined at the end of the Qualifier tournament in Zimbabwe, which concludes on July 9. Each team plays the other nine teams in a round-robin format with the top four qualifying for the knockout stage and semi-finals.
India will open their campaign against Australia on October 5 at Chennai. The much-anticipated India-Pakistan clash is scheduled for Sunday, October 15 in Ahmedabad. Their last encounter in the 2019 World Cup was a high-scoring affair with India achieving a huge victory in Manchester.
Australia will take on South Africa on October 13 in Lucknow hoping for a reversal of fortunes as a dramatic meeting in the last edition ended in the Proteas' favour.
New Zealand aim to avenge 2019 loss
Pakistan will face Australia in Bengaluru on October 20, while England clash against South Africa the next day in Mumbai.
India will go up against New Zealand to try and avenge their 2019 semi-final defeat on October 22 at the picturesque Dharamsala venue and Australia face their arch-rivals England on November 4 in Ahmedabad. The defending champions had thrashed the Aussies to storm into the final four years ago.
India have won all of the previous seven encounters, a record they extended to the T20 World Cups as well until recently.
Kohli's unforgettable knock
That streak was broken in 2021, only for India to reclaim bragging rights with a memorable victory in the 2022 edition with a dramatic chase at the MCG on the back of an unforgettable knock from Virat Kohli.
The last time these teams met in the 50-over World Cup was in 2019 at Old Trafford with India posting a massive 336/5 on the back of a fantastic 113-ball 140 by Rohit Sharma.
A smart bowling performance then helped restrict Pakistan to just 212/6 in a rain-marred match that India won by 89 runs (DLS method).
Mumbai and Kolkata to host semi-finals
Even more memorable is perhaps the game in 2011, another India home World Cup, which resulted in a thrilling semi-final clash in Mohali. Sachin Tendulkar starred for the hosts with 85 and their bowlers put up a united front to bowl out Pakistan and gain a 29-run victory.
The final group stage match will be England up against Pakistan in Kolkata on November 12.
The first semi-final will be held on Wednesday November 15 in Mumbai and the second semi-final will be held the following day in Kolkata. Both semi-finals will have a reserve day.
The Final will take place at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on November 19 with November 20 slated as the reserve day. All three knock-out fixtures will be day-night affairs.