BCCI: In a series of changes to the World Cup fixture, the highly anticipated clash between Pakistan and archrivals India in this year’s One Day International World Cup has been rescheduled a day earlier to October 14th, among eight other fixture modifications, as announced by the ICC on Wednesday.
The monumental cricket event is set to take place at the world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad, originally slated for October 15th at the same venue. The initial fixture list for the 50-over World Cup was unveiled in June after prolonged delays caused by Pakistan’s initial hesitance to travel to India.
This recent rescheduling, occurring less than two months before the tournament commencement, follows requests from foreign teams for alterations, as stated by the BCCI. Reports from Indian media indicated that Ahmedabad officials expressed concerns about ensuring adequate security for the match due to its original scheduling coinciding with a nine-day Hindu religious festival.
Ahmedabad holds significance as the starting point of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s political career. The match will unfold at a stadium bearing his name. Given the long-standing political tensions between India and Pakistan, they only meet in cricket on international platforms.
Pakistan’s decision to visit India came after agreeing to jointly host the Asia Cup in September, permitting India to play its matches in Sri Lanka. However, it was only recently that the Pakistan Cricket Council received government approval for the India trip for the 50-over World Cup.
Matches between these South Asian rivals garner unparalleled global attention, making them some of the most-watched events on the international sports calendar. Victories are often exploited to evoke nationalistic sentiments. When these two teams clash, cricket enthusiasts worldwide are glued to their TV screens, leading to a lucrative multibillion-dollar broadcasting phenomenon.
Among the other amendments, Pakistan’s match against Sri Lanka has been advanced by two days and is now scheduled for October 10th. Australia’s fixture against South Africa in Lucknow will occur on October 12th, a day earlier than previously planned. England’s match against Afghanistan in Delhi has been postponed to October 15th, one day after its original date. Meanwhile, New Zealand’s encounter against Bangladesh, initially planned as a day match for October 14th in Chennai, has been rescheduled to October 13th as a day-night contest. England’s face-off against Bangladesh in Dharamshala has transitioned from a day-night match to a daytime match, contrary to the original plans.
Ticket sales for the World Cup are slated to commence on August 25th, according to the ICC’s announcement.