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Empty stands in ICC World Cup 2023 opener ‘disappoint’ fans

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AHMEDABAD: The opening match of the ICC World Cup 2023 between holders England and last edition’s runners-up New Zealand was spoiled by the empty seats at the Narendra Modi Stadium here.

The iconic cricket stadium here which can adjust a record 132,000 spectators appeared to be almost empty at the start of the much-anticipated clash between last World Cup’s finalists.

Cricket fans around the world were quick to notice and took to X, formerly Twitter, to express their disappointment at the empty seats at the world’s largest cricket stadium.


A combined effort by New Zealand bowlers restricted England to 282 despite Joe Root’s valiant knock of 77 runs in the opening match of the ICC World Cup 2023.

England, after being asked to bat first, had a decent start to the innings before Matt Henry stuck in the eighth over to send Dawid Malan back at a total of 40.

Jonny Bairstow soon followed him after scoring 33 runs off 35 balls as he looked to hit Santner over extra cover but was gobbled by Mitchell.

Joe Root was then joined by Harry Brook, who played a 16-ball cameo of 25 featuring four boundaries and one six, before being caught by Conway in an attempt to clear the ropes again.

Root, then knitted a solid 70-run partnership for the fifth wicket with captain Jos Buttler, before the latter was removed by Matt Henry in his second spell at a total of 188.

Jos Buttler scored a 42-ball 43, laced with two boundaries and two sixes.

Joe Root remained firm as he lost another partner in Liam Livingstone (20) before being bowled by Glenn Phillips while attempting a reverse sweep leaving England at 229-7.

He top-scored with an anchoring 77 off 84 with the help of four boundaries and one six.

England lost the next two wickets in quick succession and was reduced to 252-9 in the 46th over, however, Adil Rashid (15) and Mark Wood (13) added valuable 30 runs in the remaining overs to set New Zealand 283 to chase.

Matt Henry topped the bowling charts for New Zealand with 3-48, while Michael Santner and Glenn Phillips picked two wickets each.

READ: Babar Azam’s Pakistan eye history in ICC World Cup 2023 in India

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