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England to start Cricket World Cup defence against 2019 final foes New Zealand

England will begin the defence of their Cricket World Cup crown against New Zealand in Ahmedabad on October 5 in a rematch of the nerve-racking 2019 final.

After tied scores in the regulation ODI and Super Over in the Lord’s showpiece, England controversially prevailed on boundary countback alone in a tie-breaking rule which has since been abolished.

The teams have not met in a 50-over contest since then but they will get the tournament in India under way at the 132,000-capacity Narendra Modi Stadium, which is also set to stage the final on November 19.

Jos Buttler’s side will then take on Bangladesh, Afghanistan and South Africa in the round-robin group stage before the first of two still-to-be-determined qualifiers and then a clash against hosts India.

England will then head back to Ahmedabad – the site of the world’s largest cricket stadium – to face Ashes rivals Australia before an encounter against another qualifier.

England close their group campaign on November 12 against Pakistan, whom they defeated in last year’s T20 World Cup final to become the first side to hold both white-ball World Cups simultaneously.

The India-Pakistan clash will be held in Ahmedabad on October 15 as the International Cricket Council confirmed the calendar with less than four months to go until the tournament gets under way.

The semi-finals will be held on consecutive days on November 15 in Mumbai and November 16 in Kolkata before the showcase three days later.

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