BCCI, broadcasters face backlash for not telecasting IND-PAK pre-match ceremony | Cricket - Hindustan Times

World Cup: BCCI, broadcasters face severe backlash after bizarre decision to not telecast IND vs PAK pre-match ceremony

Oct 14, 2023 01:17 PM IST

The pre-match show, highly publicised by the BCCI ahead of the iconic clash, featured artists Arijit Singh, Shankar Mahadevan, and Sunidhi Chauhan among others.

The 2023 World Cup sees the highly anticipated clash between India and Pakistan at the iconic Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Adding to one of the greatest rivalries in sporting history was a pre-match show featuring renowned artists like Shankar Mahadevan, Arijit Singh, and Sukhwinder Singh. This grand ceremony, initially scheduled to commence at 12:30, preceded the toss in Ahmedabad.

Indian singer Sunidhi Chauhan performs before the start of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup match between India and Pakistan in Ahmedabad(AP)
Indian singer Sunidhi Chauhan performs before the start of the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup match between India and Pakistan in Ahmedabad(AP)

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However, the broadcast of the pre-match show did not start on time, leading to confusion among viewers who were uncertain if there was a delay. After a few minutes, Star Sports, in an unusual manner, made an announcement that the ceremony would not be broadcasted and was exclusively for in-stadium fans.

“The ceremony at the Narendra Modi Stadium before Match 12 of ICC Men's CWC 2023 (India vs Pakistan) has been planned for in-stadia fans. The ceremony is not for broadcast,” Star Sports wrote on their official Twitter account.

For the enthusiastic fans who were eagerly waiting for the pre-match ceremony featuring iconic artists, the sudden announcement came as a dampener. Disappointment spread through social media platforms as fans expressed their frustration at the decision to keep the ceremony exclusive to in-stadium spectators.

Even before the decision to not broadcast the ceremony, the choice to have such a ceremony had received its share of criticism. Typically, such ceremonies occur before the opening match of a tournament, which in this case took place on October 5 between England and New Zealand. Notably, there was no opening ceremony for the tournament at that time, leaving fans puzzled.

The India-Pakistan clash does hold a unique place in international cricket as it consistently garners the most eyeballs and global attention. Hence, the decision to exclude it from the broadcast raises further eyebrows.

Both teams unbeaten

It has been a strong start for both teams in the 2023 World Cup as they go into the iconic clash in Ahmedabad. India made a solid start, beating Ausralia by 6 wickets before cruising past Afghanistan in Delhi. Rohit Sharma also broke Sachin Tendulkar's record for most centuries in ODI WCs with his seventh ton against Afghanistan this week. Pakistan, meanwhile, recorded the highest run-chase in World Cup history (345) during their win against Sri Lanka, that came after a considerably easier win over Netherlands last week.

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