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SYDNEY: More than 600,000 tickets have been sold for the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia, officials said Friday, hailing big demand for a host of sell-out blockbuster games.

The global showpiece starts on Sunday at the preliminary stage, before the big guns join in from October 22. Seven Australian cities are hosting.

Australia’s opening match as defending champions against New Zealand, a repeat of last year’s final, will be played before a capacity crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The India-Pakistan fixture the following night is also a sell-out with more than 90,000 fans set to jam the Melbourne Cricket Ground after additional standing-room tickets were snapped up within 10 minutes.

Squads for the first round of cricket’s T20 World Cup

Only a small number of tickets remain for the event’s opening match-day, which pits Sri Lanka against Namibia before UAE face the Netherlands at the 36,000-capacity Kardinia Park Stadium in Geelong.

“We’re delighted that we’re set to see big crowds for both the opening match of the event in Geelong this Sunday and the first weekend of the Super 12 stage in a week’s time,” said ICC T20 World Cup chief Michelle Enright.

“It’s going to be fantastic to see full stadiums for cricket in October.”

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