T20 WC: It's important to play Pakistan in the early stages of the tournament, says Gambhir

India will play Pakistan on October 24
India will play Pakistan on October 24

New Delhi [India], August 17 (ANI): India and Pakistan will lock horns in the ICC T20 World Cup on October 24 in a group-stage encounter, the international body confirmed on Tuesday. And former India opener Gautam Gambhir believes it will help as the Indian team can then focus on the remaining tournament.

Speaking on Star Sports show Game Plan: ICC T20 WC Schedule, Gambhir highlighted the importance of clashing with Pakistan in the initial stages of the tournament.

"In 2007 as well, when we went out to win the World Cup, our first game was against Scotland, which was washed out, but then practically, our first game was against Pakistan. And that is exactly what I mentioned it is important to play Pakistan in the early stages of the tournament because what happens is -- you don't want to keep thinking about Pakistan -- you can finish it off initially and concentrate on the entire tournament, and it is exactly the same for the fans and the country as well.

"Irrespective of what the result is, I am really happy for both the countries that they are going to play against each other in the initial stages."

The ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE and Oman will get underway from October 17, with the final to be played in Dubai on November 14. The tournament will begin with the Round 1 Group B encounter between hosts Oman and Papua New Guinea on October 17, with Scotland and Bangladesh, the other teams in Group B, clashing in the evening match.

Ireland, Netherlands, Sri Lanka, and Namibia -- making up Group A -- will be in action in Abu Dhabi the next day, with Round 1 matches running till October 22. The top two teams in each group will proceed to the Super 12 stage of the tournament, beginning on October 23. (ANI)

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