From fabled rivalries and match-ups that could well decide further tournament progress, we take a look at some of the pivotal fixtures at the upcoming ICC Men's T20 World Cup.
Sri Lanka v Namibia - Sunday 16 October - Geelong
The teams met in their tournament opener in last year’s campaign, and the pair meet again in the opening match of the 2022 edition.
While Namibia skipper Gerhard Erasmus took the positives from the encounter that primed them for the final two matches of the group stage last year, the Eagles will want to show how far they’ve come since their historic Super 12 qualification.
Asia Cup victors last month, Sri Lanka know their opponents will put in a stronger performance this time around, and can ill-afford a slip up early in the campaign.
Geelong’s Kardinia Park has only hosted one T20I, a Sri Lanka win over Australia back in 2017. Kusal Mendis was the only current squad member to play in the match.
West Indies v Scotland - Monday 17 October - Hobart
The fire of the 2018 Cricket World Cup Qualifier will still be burning for the Scots, who fell to the West Indies in a heartbreaker on the path to the 2019 50-over event.
It’s the first meeting between the sides in any format since the encounter, and Scotland will certainly fancy their chances, facing a team perceived to be lacking the firepower of West Indies teams of old.
Scotland’s tournament opener last year was their famous win over another Full Member in Bangladesh, and the Hobart surface should also play more to Scotland’s liking.
Netherlands v Namibia - Tuesday 18 October - Geelong
The Eagles hold bragging rights after their win in the corresponding fixture last year, and the sides would likely need victory here if they are to progress to the Super 12s.
Namibia were well-calculated in their chase of 165 in the encounter, with David Wiese’s 66* (40) timing his run to near perfection around the batting work of skipper Erasmus and JJ Smit.
The Dutch have re-grouped after what was a tumultuous campaign last year, and should give a better account in Geelong.
Ireland v Scotland - Wednesday 19 October - Hobart
Two teams that know each other well and on a Bellerive Oval surface that should be conducive to a great match for the neutral, the all European-region affair should provide a unique spectacle.
Scotland are on the wrong side of a 7-3 head-to-head record between the teams in T20I cricket (two no results, one tie), though made a deeper run at the 2021 event.
Ireland are coming off a successful home series against Super 12 side Afghanistan, and have a point to prove after a First Round exit last year.
Scotland v Zimbabwe - Friday 21 October - Hobart
A potential decider for a Super 12 spot, Scotland will want to emulate their 2021 success, though Zimbabwe did not take part in the last competition cycle due to their ICC suspension, and provide a new challenge.
Zimbabwe are a side on the up after hiring Dave Houghton as head coach, and progress to the Super 12 stage will now be the minimum goal.
The Scots lost a home T20I series to Zimbabwe in 2021, and lost their only meeting at a T20 World Cup back in 2016.
Australia v New Zealand - Saturday 22 October - Sydney
A re-match of last year’s tournament final, played between trans-Tasman rivals, and as the Super 12 curtain raiser - there isn’t a whole lot more to throw in to sell this fixture.
The hosts have not lost to the Kiwis in the format on home soil, comfortably winning a rain-affected encounter at the SCG back in February 2018.
The biggest questions of Australia in the build-up will surround the composition of their batting order, with their first match selection revealing their hand. Tim David looks to be the biggest in for the side defending the trophy, though it will be the omitted player that signals how aggressive the side will be with the bat.
India v Pakistan - Sunday 23 October - Melbourne
When tickets went on sale for this fixture back in February, they sold out in five minutes.
Envious of the 100,000 in the venue, there will likely be over a billion pairs of eyes gazing on the Melbourne Cricket Ground for this eagerly awaited fixture.
If India needed any more motivation, their 10-wicket defeat to Pakistan last year should be the only team talk Rohit Sharma needs.
Multiple wickets in the Powerplay would be one avenue for India to avenge the 2021 defeat, exposing a Pakistan middle order struggling for runs.
South Africa v Bangladesh - Thursday 27 October - Sydney
Bangladesh were bowled out for just 84 in the meeting last year and will be desperate to provide a better account of themselves. South Africa by contrast have enjoyed a strong year in the format, and would likely need a win here to push their semi-final case.
Shakib Al Hasan’s side also have history against them, with the Tigers yet to beat South Africa in T20I cricket.
India v South Africa - Sunday 30 October - Perth
Both teams would have circled this one in the calendar, knowing that a victory here would go a long way to securing a semi-final spot.
The sides are currently sparring in a preparation T20I series in India and the Asian side were far too strong with an emphatic victory in that series opener.
South Africa would still have Pakistan in the way of their path to the final four, and the Perth surface may be more to the Proteas’ liking.
Afghanistan v Group A Winner - Tuesday 1 November - Brisbane
The first match of a Brisbane double-header, there are intriguing scenarios no matter who they face on November 1.
First Round Group A favourites Sri Lanka fell to Afghanistan in the Asia Cup opener in August, though Dasun Shanaka’s side hit back in the Super Four stage on their way to tournament victory.
Should another team top the First Round group, they’ll likely target Afghanistan as their best chance of a Super 12 victory.
England v New Zealand - Tuesday 1 November - Brisbane
Should the hosts do the early running in the group, the England/New Zealand fixture at The Gabba could become a de-facto quarter-final.
Featuring in opposite Super 12 groups last year, the teams only came head-to-head in the semi-final, with Kane Williamson’s side keeping an electric England batting unit relatively quiet.
Daryl Mitchell was emphatic in reply at the top of the order, making 72* (47), claiming Player of the Match honours as New Zealand reached the target of 167 with an over in hand.