'Politics is being played': BCCI under fire for choice of World Cup 2023 venues | Crickit
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'Politics is being played': BCCI under fire as venues including that staged IND-PAK semi in 2011 WC miss out in 2023

Jun 28, 2023 07:19 AM IST

Overall, 10 venues have been selected for the ICC World Cup 2023 which obviously means there were a few notable ones that missed out.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Tuesday announced the much-awaited schedule for the 2023 Men's ODI Cricket World Cup with 100 days left for the tournament to begin. Ahmedabad's Narendra Modi Stadium will be hosting the tournament opener on October 5 and the finale on November 19 while Mumbai and Kolkata will be staging the semifinals on November 15 and 16 respectively.

While some of the big venues have been included for the 2023 World Cup, some major cities have missed out like - Mohali, Indore, Rajkot, Ranchi and Nagpur
While some of the big venues have been included for the 2023 World Cup, some major cities have missed out like - Mohali, Indore, Rajkot, Ranchi and Nagpur

Overall, 10 venues will be hosting the World Cup matches making it the biggest-ever ICC event in history. Besides the aforementioned cities, the other seven include - Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Dharamsala, Hyderabad, Lucknow, and Pune.

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Usually, it is the metro cities that get to host a World Cup match, but then the distribution also happens zone-wise. And despite it being an ICC event, more often than not, the suggestions made by the local organising committee, here BCCI, are given preference. While some of the big venues have been included for the 2023 World Cup, some major cities have missed out like - Mohali, Indore, Rajkot, Ranchi and Nagpur - and the officials of these venues have been left disappointed.

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The Holkar Stadium of Indore has been regularly hosting international games across formats. Most recently, it had staged a Test in the Border-Gavaskar Test series. However, it has missed out on a World Cup fixture, leaving Abhilash Khandekar, president of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association, disappointed.

"Indore hosted a World Cup game between Australia and New Zealand back in 1987. We feel bad that Indore has been left out. I don't know the compulsions of the BCCI. Indore has a rich cricketing history and therefore we expected it to be a venue of the World Cup," Khandekar told PTI.

Another major venue that missed out on a World Cup fixture was Mohali, which had staged the blockbuster semi-final game between India and Pakistan in the 2011 edition. It has actually been hosting World Cup matches since 1996.

"It seems only metros and cities where the office bearers are from have got games. We pushed for it really hard but could not get a game. Disappointing not to get even a practice game," said a source in the Punjab Cricket Association.

Punjab Sports Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer in fact opined that leaving out Mohali from the fixture was a much political decision.

"It is good that World Cup is coming to India but it is sad that a stadium which has produced many superstars of Indian cricket, a stadium that used to be among the top five venues in the country, has not got a single game. On the other hand, the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad is hosting the opening game as well as the final and also the big game between India and Pakistan. To the neighbouring Dharamsala as well you are giving them five games but Punjab has not got even one. That makes it clear that politics is being played," he said.

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