The much-anticipated clash between Pakistan and India in the upcoming ICC Men’s World Cup, scheduled for October 15, is likely to be preponed due to the date coinciding with the beginning of the Navratri festival, The Indian Express reported on Wednesday.
“We have been told by the security agencies that a high-profile game like India vs Pakistan, for which thousands of travelling fans are expected to reach Ahmedabad, should be avoided since they will be stretched because of Navratri,” a top official from India’s cricket board, who did not wish to be identified, told The Indian Express.
“We are mulling the options that we have and a decision will be taken soon,” the official said.
The report further suggested that the Board of Cricket Control in India (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah also called a meeting on July 27 (tomorrow) with all the authorities involved in hosting the World Cup matches to analyze the possible change.
“I feel it will be in the best interest of all concerned that we meet again to exchange notes and take stock of any issue which needs discussion and decision,” the report quoted the letter sent by Shah as saying.
“It is learnt that the board might apprise the members of the security concerns around Ahmedabad and finalise a new date for the match,” The Indian Express noted.
A total of 10 teams will participate in the ICC Men’s World Cup – featuring 45 matches – and compete for the prestigious silverware across 10 venues from October 5 to November 19.
Like the previous edition, the ICC Men’s World Cup 2023 will also be played in a round-robin format – each team playing nine matches with the rest of the opponents.
The top four teams by the end of the group stage will qualify for the semi-finals, scheduled to be held in Mumbai on November 15 and in Kolkata on November 16.
Whereas, the final of the tournament will take place on November 19 at the grand Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Notably, all three knockout matches of the ICC Men’s World Cup will have a reserve day.