For the first time since the 2011 World Cup, ICC tournament not to feature India versus Pakistan at group stage

The ICC T20 World Cup 2020 will mark the first time since the World Cup 2011 that arch-rivals India and Pakistan will not clash against each other at an ICC event. While the two teams only met at the semi-final stage of the 2011 World Cup, since then they have met each other in five ICC tournaments and will do so again at this year's 50-overs World Cup 2019 in England.

The news which could come as a not-so-pleasant surprise to the fans from the two countries is the result of the teams occupying the top two positions in the ICC T20I rankings (Pakistan at No.1 while India at No.2), thereby forcing them to be placed in different groups.

Also, Ashes rivals England and Australia have been placed in separate groups as well and can only meet in the later stages of the tournament.

Former champions India will square off against South Africa in their opening match of the men's T20 World Cup to be held in Australia next year, the International Cricket Council (ICC) announced Tuesday.

India's opening match will take place in Perth on October 24 while the tournament will get underway from October 18 with qualifying rounds in South Geelong, according to the fixtures.

India, who lost in the semifinals to eventual winners West Indies in the previous edition in 2016, face a qualifying team in their next Super 12 match in Melbourne on October 29. India won the event's inaugural edition in 2007.

The men's competition, from October 18 to November 15, will feature several qualifying matches before hosts Australia take on world's top-ranked Pakistan in the first match of the tournament-proper on October 24 under lights at the Sydney Cricket Ground.