South Africa was drawn into a tough pool for the T20 World Cup, which takes place in the UAE later this year.
The Proteas will face the West Indies, England, Australia and two more qualifiers.
Rivals India and Pakistan have been drawn in the same group and will be joined in Group 2 of the Super 12s (round two) by World Test champions New Zealand and Afghanistan as well as two qualifiers from round one.
Test nations Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Ireland must come through round one to reach the Super 12s but another Test team, Zimbabwe, will be absent.
Non-Test-playing nations Netherlands, Namibia, Scotland, Papua New Guinea and Oman will also have a chance of making it through to the Super 12s.
“There are some great match-ups offered by the groups and it starts to bring the event to life for our fans as our first multi-team event since the onset of the global pandemic draws closer,” said ICC acting chief executive Geoff Allardice in a statement.
The tournament is set to take place in Oman and the United Arab Emirates from 17 October 17 to 14 November.
The tournament was originally scheduled to take place in Australia at the end of 2020 but was called off as the pandemic swept across the globe causing widescale lockdowns.
It was switched to India for 2021 but the country is emerging from a Covid-19 surge in April and May and experts fear a new wave of cases later this year.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) remains the ‘host’ but the competition will now be held across four venues – the Dubai International Stadium, the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, the Sharjah Stadium, and the Oman Cricket Academy Ground.
“There is nothing that separates the two groups as both are packed with sides that are highly competitive in the shortest format of the game,” said BCCI secretary Jay Shah.
“Having said that, the exciting T20 format is known for its surprises, and we must be prepared for the same. I am sure we will witness some exciting and nail-biting games.”
Group A: Sri Lanka, Ireland, Netherlands, Namibia
Group B: Bangladesh, Scotland, Papua New Guinea, Oman
Group 1: England, Australia, South Africa, West Indies, A1, B2
Group 2: India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Afghanistan, A2, B1
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