New Delhi. The stir has now intensified regarding the ICC ODI World Cup to be held in India this year. The trophy of the tournament was unveiled in space on Monday. Before the release of the World Cup schedule on July 27, the news has started coming out. Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium and Kolkata’s Eden Gardens are frontrunners to host the two semi-finals of the 2023 Cricket World Cup. If both these historic venues get to host the semi-finals, the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, another ground with a rich heritage, may lose out in the race to host one of the biggest matches of ODI cricket.
A source in the Cricket Board of India (BCCI) told PTI on Monday, “The two possible venues to host the World Cup semi-finals are Wankhede in Mumbai and Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Earlier Chennai was also in the race but it seems that Eden has gone ahead. One of the reasons for this could also be the weather of Chennai in November where there is always a possibility of rain.
The 12 host associations were called to Mumbai on Monday for discussions and finalization of venues ahead of the official announcement on Tuesday. If India qualifies for the semi-finals then it will play its semi-final match in Mumbai.
The Wankhede Stadium hosted the final of the 2011 World Cup in which the Indian team, led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni, defeated Sri Lanka to end a 28-year drought of the ODI World Cup title. Eden Gardens hosted the title match between Australia and England in the 1987 tournament which was won by Australia.
10 teams will participate in this year’s World Cup. India, being the hosts, got direct entry into the tournament while Afghanistan, Australia, England, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa made it to the tournament through the 2020–23 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League. Two other teams will make it to the tournament through the World Cup qualifiers, which is currently being played in Zimbabwe.
Apart from former champions Sri Lanka and West Indies, teams from Ireland, Nepal, Netherlands, Oman, Scotland, UAE, USA and hosts Zimbabwe are participating in the qualifiers. During the World Cup, 10 teams will compete against each other in a round-robin league consisting of 45 matches. After this the semi-finals and final will be played.
FIRST PUBLISHED : June 26, 2023