Aussie men begin T20 title defence v NZ

Troy WhittakerAAP
Australia's T20 World Cup defence starts against 2021 finalists New Zealand at the MCG on Oct 22.
Camera IconAustralia's T20 World Cup defence starts against 2021 finalists New Zealand at the MCG on Oct 22. Credit: AP

Captain Aaron Finch says Australia can begin plotting a path to back-to-back Twenty20 World Cup triumphs after the 2022 fixtures were released on Friday.

The tournament hosts will start their campaign in the Super 12 stage with a 2021 final rematch against New Zealand at the SCG on October 22.

In what Finch described as a "tough" pool, Australia will also face England and Afghanistan in Group 1, plus two opponents to be decided by the first-round action.

India, Pakistan, South Africa and Bangladesh are included in Group 2.

Originally scheduled in Australia in 2020 but postponed due to COVID-19, the World Cup will get underway on October 16 with 2014 champions Sri Lanka facing Namibia in Geelong.

"Our planning was ultra-detailed last time and, again, knowing what the groups look like nine months out is really helpful because it can help that level of detail in that planning phase more," Finch said.

"It's a tough group though. They're both tough. When you throw in qualifiers like West Indies, Sri Lanka, we've got to play really well to get out of that group stage."

The Australia-New Zealand clash will come 11 months after Finch's side clinched their country's maiden T20 World Cup with an eight-wicket win in Dubai.

Coming off a dominant Ashes campaign, Australia will roll into a T20 series against Sri Lanka in February before a three-format tour of Pakistan the following month.

A three-game T20 series in New Zealand is also scheduled in March.

Finch is wary of the workload leading into the World Cup and hinted at stars being rested for some of the short-form games to round out this summer.

"It'll be about giving guys enough time to rest and recharge and get time at home and connect with people," he said.

"That's probably one thing that we take a bit for granted. Once you're in the hubs and bubbles all the time you're restricted with who you can see, so even to catch up with family and friends is really important.

"There will be some different names (selected) ... There will be guys that will be still in the preparation space for Pakistan.

"It'll be a bit of mixing and matching (for the T20s), which is always exciting to get some fresh players in."

Other World Cup draw highlights include India taking on rivals Pakistan at the MCG for the first time on October 23.

The tournament will be played across Adelaide, Brisbane, Geelong, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, culminating in the final under lights at the MCG on November 13.

Finch hopes the experience will convince more international talent to play in future editions of Australia's Big Bash League competition.

"They add such a depth and firepower and world-class to the tournament," he said.

Australia's T20 World Cup draw

Saturday, October 22 v New Zealand at the SCG

Tuesday, October 25 v Group A winner at Perth Stadium

Friday, October 28 v England at the MCG

Monday, October 31 v Group B runner-up at the Gabba

Friday, November 4 v Afghanistan at Adelaide Oval.

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