India’s opening match in ODI World Cup to be against Australia

New Delhi: With the Men’s ODI World Cup set to be held in India later in the year, it has now emerged that the hosts’ opening match of the competition will be against five-time winners Australia.

A report in Cricbuzz says India’s opening match of the ODI World Cup against Australia in all likelihood will be in Chennai. It added that India’s blockbuster game against Pakistan will be on October 15, which is a Sunday, like the final on November 19.

The tournament is likely to start with the England-New Zealand clash, also a rematch of the 2019 ODI World Cup final, at the Narendra Modi Stadium on October 5, with the final to be held at the same venue.

“The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is expected to come up with the schedule soon, most likely after the on-going Indian Premier League (IPL), after obtaining the formal approval from all concerned. As the host, the BCCI of course could have the final say on the dates and venues,” said the report.

The report also confirmed that Pakistan has agreed to tour India for the World Cup despite the standoff over Asia Cup, though it said few concerns have emerged. “Majorly, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is understood to be having reservations over playing the big game against India in Ahmedabad and that could be one of the reasons, it is being assumed, why Najam Sethi, the chairman of the PCB, visited the ICC office in Dubai over the last couple of days.”

“Having agreed in principle to come to India for the quadrennial championship, the PCB chief seems to be asking for a few changes to the venues of its matches as a face-saver. However, it is learnt that the PCB has agreed to play the final in Ahmedabad, should its team reach the title clash,” it added.

The report further said Pakistan will play its games as per the tentative schedule in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru, along with Kolkata, Delhi, Indore, Dharamsala, Guwahati, Rajkot, Raipur and Mumbai being other designated venues with Mohali and Nagpur missing out from the list.

“The Wankhede in Mumbai is likely to get a semifinal. Each team will play nine league games which means most centres, if not all, will get an India game each,” it added.

2023 Men’s ODI World Cup will be played between 10 teams and 48 matches will be played. India, England, Australia, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh and South Africa earned direct qualification.

The last two spots will be filled through a qualifying tournament from June 18 to July 9 in Zimbabwe in which two World Cup winners, West Indies and Sri Lanka, will compete alongside the Netherlands, Ireland, Nepal, Oman, Scotland, UAE and hosts Zimbabwe.

Asia Cup likely to move out of Pakistan

New Delhi: Asian Cricket Council expected to move the Asia Cup out of Pakistan, which was originally scheduled to host the continental tournament.

Last year, BCCI secretary and ACC chairman Jay Shah had made it clear that the Indian team will not travel to Pakistan for the Continental championship and demanded that the event be moved to a neutral venue.

Pakistan, on the other hand, has even threatened to boycott the ODI World Cup, which will be played in India in October-November.

According to an India Today report, the Asia cup could be shifted entirely to a new country, with Sri Lanka coming up as the frontrunner to host the tournament.

Interestingly, the Island nation failed to host the Asia Cup last year due to the economic crisis, as a result of which the tournament was shifted to the UAE.

Pakistan and India do not play bilateral cricket and only meet in global tournaments or multi-team events since 2013 due to strained political tensions between the two countries.


Image courtesy of File photo

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