Colombo, Sept 21: India will open their 2012 ICC World Twenty20 campaign against one of the two qualifiers at the R Premadasa Stadium here on September 19 next year, according to the schedule of the tournament announced by the international body today.
India, who won the inaugural edition of the tournament in South Africa in 2007, have been placed alongside defending champions England and a qualifier in Group A.
India will next face England at the same venue on September 23.
England, meanwhile, will also start its title defence at the R Premadasa Stadium exactly one year from today, September 21 next year, against one of the two qualifiers for the tournament, which will conclude on October 7.
Australia, chasing the one global trophy that has eluded them till now, will go head-to-head with the other qualifier in Colombo on September 19.
Sri Lanka, which lost to England in the semi-final of last year's tournament in the West Indies, will open its campaign against Zimbabwe under lights in Hambantota on the first day of the tournament, September 18, before taking on South Africa at the same venue on September 22.
If Sri Lanka reaches the Super Eight, it will then go on to play in Pallekele before moving to Colombo if it qualifies for the knock-out stage.
Pakistan, which won the 2009 edition in England, has been grouped with New Zealand and Bangladesh, and will play their matches in Pallekele on September 23 and 25, respectively. Pallekele will also host the New Zealand-Bangladesh match on September 21.
Interestingly, if things go according to pre-tournament seedings then arch-rivals India and Pakistan will lock horns in a Super Eight match in Colombo on September 30.
The top two teams from each group will qualify for the Super Eights round, which will also be contested in two pools.
The first two in each pool will advance to the semi-finals.