Qualifier first up for England

Draw made for the 2012 World T20 in Sri Lanka

Last Updated: 21/09/11 3:15pm

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Sky Bet

England may find themselves up against familiar opponents when they start the defence of their ICC World Twenty20 crown in Colombo next year.

The champions, set to be captained by Stuart Broad, learned on Wednesday they will face one of the qualifying teams in their first match of the tournament at the R Premadasa Stadium next September.

That day-night fixture, at the venue for the tournament's final and three days after hosts Sri Lanka's competition opener against Zimbabwe in Hambantota, could pit England against either Ireland or Scotland.

Both those two countries are among those who will bid to qualify for the final 16, in the United Arab Emirates in March.

England, who won their maiden International Cricket Council global trophy under Paul Collingwood's captaincy at the World Twenty20 in the West Indies last year, will then complete their group campaign against World Cup holders and 2007 Twenty20 winners India - also at the Premadasa.

Success

ICC chief executive Haroon Lorgat attended Wednesday's press conference in Colombo, where the schedule for next year's event - between September 18 and October 7 - was revealed.

He said: "Following the legacies and success of the Cricket World Cup, I am confident that Sri Lanka will deliver another world-class event

"The ICC World Twenty20 is now a marquee event in Twenty20 cricket, where nations challenge each other for the most coveted title in the shortest format of the game."

Group fixtures schedule: Sep 18 - Sri Lanka v Zimbabwe at the Mahinda Rajapaksha International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota; Sep 19 - Australia v Qualifier 1 at the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo; Sep 19 - India v Qualifier 2 at the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo; Sep 20 - South Africa v Zimbabwe at the Mahinda Rajapaksha International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota; Sep 21 - New Zealand v Bangladesh at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium; Sep 21 - England v Qualifier 2 at the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo; Sep 22 - Sri Lanka v South Africa at the Mahinda Rajapaksha International Cricket Stadium, Hambantota; Sep 22 - Australia v West Indies at the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo; Sep 23 - Pakistan v New Zealand at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium; Sep 23 - England v India at the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo; Sep 24 - West Indies v Qualifier 1 at the R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo; Sep 25 - Pakistan v Bangladesh at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium

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