Plan is to stage entire 2023 ODI World Cup in India: ICC source

Mar 29, 2023 09:13 PM IST

An official at cricket global body denied reports in the Pakistan media that suggest that matches involving that team could be played at a neutral venue during the October-November event

While the formal announcement of the dates and venues for this year’s ODI World Cup in India is awaited, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has denied media reports that Pakistan will play their matches at a neutral venue.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam and his Indian counterpart Rohit Sharma(AFP)
Pakistan captain Babar Azam and his Indian counterpart Rohit Sharma(AFP)

“As far as we are concerned, everything is full speed for a full event in India later this year," an ICC official said.

A final word may yet be heard on the matter.

BCCI has had talks with the Pakistan board (PCB) over adopting a “hybrid model” for the Asia Cup in September – staging the tournament in Pakistan but holding the India games in neutral venues. Reports in the Pakistan media say the same model will apply for the World Cup and Pakistan’s matches will be relocated to a neutral venue. Bangladesh is being spoken of as a possible host nation for these matches.

Some media reports have even quoted Wasim Khan, ICC GM and ex-CEO of PCB, as saying that Pakistan’s World Cup matches will be played at a neutral venue. ICC has distanced itself from any such comments.

While negotiations may be on for the Asia Cup to stay in Pakistan with only the India games and the final to be moved out, BCCI are unwilling to let PCB use it to bargain for moving World Cup matches out of India.

The World Cup will be played in the same format as the last edition in England in 2019. All 10 teams played against the other once before the semi-finalists were decided. That would mean nine Pakistan matches are to be hosted in India.

BCCI’s long-standing position has been that they won’t be able to play cricket in Pakistan without government permission. Pakistan is known to be putting forth the same argument at the ICC forum.

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    Rasesh Mandani loves a straight drive. He has been covering cricket, the governance and business side of sport for close to two decades. He writes and video blogs for HT.

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