Even though we are just five months away from the eagerly-awaited ODI World Cup 2023, which is slated to take place in India later this year, the schedule for cricket’s 50-over showpiece event has been delayed and is still under wraps.
The tournament is expected to begin in October. However, with some of the leading contenders for the trophy still preoccupied with Test cricket as the Ashes and the World Test Championship fast approach, there’s been a lack of buzz and excitement surrounding the 50-over World Cup.
When pressed on the schedule for World Cup 2023, both cricket’s governing body the International Cricket Council (ICC), and the host of the tournament the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) maintained that the schedule and venues for the 13th edition of the tournament will be released in ‘due course’.
According to reports, a senior official at BCCI added: “The discussion with the ICC is going on and we'll soon announce the dates and venues.”
As per other sources in the Indian media, the schedule for World Cup 2023 is not expected to be released before the conclusion of Indian T20 League 2023, which will finish on May 28.
The delayed release of the schedule is unlikely to impact preparations for the eight teams that have automatically qualified for World Cup 2023.
Despite any official confirmation from the ICC or BCCI, World Cup 2023 is expected to be held from October 5 to November 19. The opening match of the tournament is likely to be between England and New Zealand - the finalists from the last edition of the tournament in 2019.
Both the final and the opening match of the tournament are expected to be held at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Recent reports have also claimed that India’s opening match of the tournament will be against five-time champions Australia. Meanwhile, India’s eagerly anticipated clash against Pakistan will probably happen on October 15.
As many as 12 Indian cities have been shortlisted as venues to host the 2023 World Cup. These 12 venues are Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Dharamshala, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Indore, Kolkata, Mumbai, Raipur, and Rajkot.
Australia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, England, Pakistan, New Zealand, South Africa, and host nation India are already in the final.
Meanwhile, the remaining two spots in the tournament will be decided after the 2023 World Cup Cricket Qualifier in June.
The 10 teams participating in the Qualifier are West Indies, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Zimbabwe, and the Netherlands as well as associate nations like Nepal, Oman, Scotland, UAE, and the USA.
Photo credit: Alamy