Pakistan Requests Venue Swap for World Cup Matches

According to the preliminary schedule of the World Cup matches, they will face Australia in Bengaluru and Afghanistan in Chennai but Pakistan requests venue swap.

Pakistan Requests Venue Swap

The PCB wants Pakistan to avoid facing Australia or Afghanistan in Bengaluru or Chennai.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has made a special request, asking the ICC to switch the locations of two league fixtures during the 2023 ODI World Cup. Pakistan has requested a revision so that they will face Australia in Chennai and Afghanistan in Bengaluru instead of the current schedule, which has Australia playing in Bengaluru on October 20 and Afghanistan playing in Chennai on October 23.

However, according to an internal letter seen by cricket news, the venue switch would “make” Pakistan “favourites” in both games. It is understood that the PCB did not provide the ICC with any particular justification for the proposal.

The PCB’s internal letter stated, “Australia in Bengaluru and Afghanistan in Chennai are the two we should look to get changed as much as possible.” “Ideally, we can reverse them. We would be the clear favourites in both matches against Australia in Chennai and Afghanistan in Bengaluru.

It was unclear if the ICC had reacted to or would even consider the PCB’s proposal. One of Pakistan’s warm-up games is also slated to include Afghanistan. Still, it is understood that the PCB has requested the ICC whether they may face South Africa, England, New Zealand, or Australia instead.

At an ICC tournament, security concerns are typically the main factor in venue changes. For instance, the India-Pakistan match of the 2016 T20 World Cup was initially scheduled for March 19 in Dharamsala. Still, the game was changed to Kolkata without a security guarantee from the Indian government.

The PCB’s internal memo, created as part of an evaluation of the venues where they would be playing during the World Cup, does not mention a security danger. It advices looking into shifting the location for all but three of Pakistan’s games—including the one against India on October 15.

India will benefit by playing in Ahmedabad, but I wonder if that will alter, given the importance of both the World Cup and the site for the BCCI.

The New Zealand match, scheduled for November 5 in Bengaluru, is an “issue” but “not a hill worth dying on.” The two games Pakistan plays in Kolkata—against Bangladesh on October 31 and the reigning champions England on November 12—are of little more concern, according to the internal paper. It also offers other places where the squad might feel more comfortable playing.

“Lucknow would also be a suitable location for us, given the general population. Delhi would be beneficial for us as well against most opponents. We can move the England game to Chennai or Lucknow if there is a third change.

When is the World Cup Matches on June 27?

Pakistan Requests Venue Swap

On June 27, 100 days after the tournament’s projected start date of October 5, the BCCI planned to announce the World Cup schedule. The fixture list, which the ICC had sent to all participating nations and the broadcaster to solicit comments, has yet to receive PCB clearance. At a recent media briefing, Najam Sethi—who resigned as interim PCB chairman on Monday—had stated: “We have written to the ICC that we can’t give approval or disapproval to this [World Cup schedule].” Similar to how India’s government determines when travellers go there, our government must make the decision.

The PCB emphasised that the Pakistani government must grant permission for all sites in their correspondence to the ICC. It has been learned that the PCB’s response contributed to the ICC’s inability to publish the World Cup schedule and launch ticket sales.

The Pakistani government would need to be immediately contacted by the incoming PCB chairman, who is most likely to be Zaka Ashraf. It is believed that ICC has informed the PCB that it must wait to reveal the schedule for much longer. Read more cricket news here at Indibet India, the best cricket site in India.

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