The stage is set for the highly anticipated 2023 World Cup as the International Cricket Council (ICC) released the fixtures for the tournament, marking the 100-day countdown to the event. Scheduled to kick off on October 5 and culminate with the final on November 19, the tournament promises thrilling matches and intense competition. India, one of the key contenders, will commence their campaign against Australia on October 8, while fans eagerly await the much-awaited clash between India and Pakistan on October 15 in Ahmedabad.
During the announcement in Mumbai, it was revealed that Pakistan would also face Australia in Bengaluru on October 20 and Afghanistan in Chennai on October 23. Interestingly, it was reported that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) expressed their reluctance to play Afghanistan on a spin-friendly track in Chennai and preferred to avoid facing Australia in Bengaluru. Also Read: ICC ODI World Cup 2023 I World Cup 2023 ODI Schedule
Following the fixture announcement, the PCB clarified that their participation in the ODI World Cup would be subject to government clearance. A PCB official stated, “Our participation in the World Cup and our matches in Ahmedabad on October 15 or in Mumbai if we qualify for the semi-finals, will all depend on government clearance.” The official further explained that the government had not yet issued a No Objection Certificate (NOC) for the team to travel to India. Given the sensitivity of the matter, the PCB would proceed according to clear directives from their government.
“We have already informed the ICC that our participation in the tournament and any concerns regarding venues are contingent upon the PCB receiving clearance from the government to travel to India,” the official added.
However, legendary Pakistani pace bowler Wasim Akram expressed his belief that the players were not concerned about the venues. In a video posted by Cricket Pakistan, Akram confidently stated, “There is no issue here. Wherever the match is held, Pakistan will have to play there. End of conversation. This unnecessary stress about venues is just futile. If you ask any Pakistan cricketer, they don’t care. They will play wherever the schedule takes them.”
Despite the uncertainty, Pakistan has a signed participation agreement with the ICC and the governing body fully expects them to be present at the World Cup. An ICC spokesperson conveyed, “All members are required to adhere to the rules and laws of their respective countries, and we respect that. However, we are confident that Pakistan will be in India for the men’s cricket World Cup.”
As the cricketing world eagerly anticipates the upcoming World Cup, fans hope for a smooth resolution of the logistical challenges and look forward to witnessing exciting matches between the top cricketing nations.