The ICC ODI World Cup 2023 will kick off and close at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad with the game between England and New Zealand on October 5. The Motera will also host the final on November 19.
As per Cricbuzz reports, India's opening match will be against Australia, and in all likelihood, it will be in Chennai. The blockbuster game against Pakistan will be on October 15, which is a Sunday, like the final on November 19.
After receiving formal clearance from all parties, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is expected to release the schedule shortly, perhaps after the current Indian Premier League (IPL 2023). Naturally, the BCCI, as the host, might have the final word about the times and locations.
Cricbuzz also reported that Pakistan has accepted to tour India for the World Cup, despite the ongoing impasse and uncertainty surrounding the Asia Cup. However, it is said that Pakistan has raised a few reservations.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is understood to be having reservations over playing the big game against India in Ahmedabad and hence the PCB chief seems to be asking for a few changes to the venues of its matches as a face-saver.
However, Pakistan has reportedly agreed to play in Ahmedabad if they reach the final.
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Pakistan will mostly play its games in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bengaluru. The BCCI has provided venues in the South Zone for the most Pakistan games with Chennai, which has a record of being a peaceful host with a very sporting crowd, getting a few extra games.
Apart from Ahmedabad and the three south centers, Kolkata, Delhi, Indore, Dharamsala, Guwahati, Rajkot, Raipur and Mumbai are the designated venues with Mohali and Nagpur missing out from the list.
Wankhede Stadium is set to host a semi-final. Each team will play nine league games which mean most centres, if not all, will get an India game each.
In all, there will be 10 teams and 48 games in the World Cup with India, England, Australia, New Zealand, Afghanistan, Pakistan, South Africa, and Bangladesh having qualified for the tournament.
Two former champions, West Indies and Sri Lanka, along with the Netherlands, Ireland, Nepal, Oman, Scotland, UAE, and host Zimbabwe, will participate in a qualification event in June-July to fill the final two berths.