India will clash with Bangladesh in the opening match of the 2011 World Cup in Dhaka on February 19, the International Cricket Council (ICC) said on Monday.
The first match takes place two days after the opening ceremony of the 14-nation showpiece at the same venue, according to the schedule released by the ICC here.
The final of the 43-day tournament, to be co-hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, will take place at the renovated Wankhede Stadium here on April 2.
The teams have been divided into two groups of seven each for the preliminary league, with the top four from each group advancing to the quarterfinals.
Defending champion Australia heads Group A which includes Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada and Kenya. The other group comprises India, South Africa, England, West Indies, Bangladesh, Ireland and the Netherlands.
India to host 29 matches
India will host 29 matches at eight venues, Sri Lanka 12 at three venues and Bangladesh eight at two places,.
The 2011 event is a week shorter than the one held in the Caribbean in 2007 and will have 49 matches, two less than the previous tournament.
“This announcement is an important indicator of the excellent progress we are making towards our flagship event which brings together teams from all our members in nation-versus-nation action,” ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat said.
“Preparation of venues and safety and security planning continues, and I am confident that the host countries will showcase our great sport with its great spirit in the best possible light.”
ICC vice president Sharad Pawar, who is chairman of the organising committee, said he looked forward to a great tournament.
“The sub-continent offers some great facilities for the cricketers, spectators, sponsors and media, with some brand new stadia to be built and others to be upgraded,” said Pawar.
“The schedule will allow the venues to focus on the task at hand to plan and implement their preparations, and ensure they are ready to welcome the world to this beautiful, historic and cricket-loving region in 2011.”
The groupings: Group A: Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada and Kenya.
Group B: India, South Africa, England, West Indies, Bangladesh, Ireland and the Netherlands.
The venues: India (29 matches): Mumbai, Mohali, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai and New Delhi. Sri Lanka (12 matches): Colombo, Hambantota and Pallekele. Bangladesh (8 matches): Dhaka and Chittagong.
The fixtures: Feb. 17: Opening ceremony (Dhaka); Feb. 19: India v Bangladesh (Dhaka); Feb. 20: New Zealand v Kenya (Chennai) and Sri Lanka v Canada (Hambantota); Feb. 21: Australia v Zimbabwe (Ahmedabad); Feb. 22: England v Netherlands (Nagpur); Feb. 23: Pakistan v Kenya (Hambantota); Feb. 24: South Africa v West Indies (New Delhi); Feb 25: Australia v New Zealand (Nagpur) and Bangladesh v Ireland (Dhaka); Feb. 26: Sri Lanka v Pakistan (Colombo); Feb. 27: India v England (Kolkata); Feb. 28: West Indies v Netherlands (New Delhi) and Zimbabwe v Canada (Nagpur).
March 1: Sri Lanka v Kenya (Colombo); Mar. 2: England v Ireland (Bangalore); Mar. 3: South Africa v Netherlands (Mohali) and Pakistan v Canada (Colombo); Mar. 4: New Zealand v Zimbabwe (Ahmedabad) and Bangladesh v West Indies (Dhaka); Mar. 5 : Sri Lanka v Australia (Colombo); Mar. 6: India v Ireland (Bangalore) and England v South Africa (Chennai); Mar. 7: Kenya v Canada (New Delhi); Mar. 8: Pakistan v New Zealand (Pallekele); Mar. 9: India v Netherlands (New Delhi); Mar. 10: Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe (Pallekele); Mar. 11: West Indies v Ireland (Mohali) and Bangladesh v England (Chittagong); Mar. 12: India v South Africa (Nagpur); Mar 13: New Zealand v Canada (Mumbai) and Australia v Kenya (Bangalore); Mar. 14: Pakistan v Zimbabwe (Pallekele) and Bangladesh v Netherlands (Chittagong); Mar. 15: South Africa v Ireland (Kolkata); Mar. 16: Australia v Canada (Bangalore); Mar. 17: England v West Indies (Chennai); Mar. 18: Sri Lanka v New Zealand (Mumbai) and Ireland v Netherlands (Kolkata); Mar. 19: Australia v Pakistan (Colombo) and Bangladesh v South Africa (Dhaka); Mar. 20: India v West Indies (Chennai) and Zimbabwe v Kenya (Kolkata).
Quarterfinals: Mar. 23 (Dhaka), Mar. 24 (Colombo), Mar. 25 (Dhaka), Mar. 26 (Ahmedabad).
Semifinals: Mar. 29 (Colombo) and Mar. 30 (Mohali).
Final: April 2 (Mumbai).