Accusations of BCCI Favoring Narendra Modi Stadium and Ignoring Other Significant Venues in World Cup 2023

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has revealed the schedule for the highly-anticipated 2023 Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup. The tournament will kick off on October 5th with the opening match at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium. The final will also take place at the same venue on November 19th, while Mumbai and Kolkata will host the semifinals on November 15th and 16th respectively.

A total of 10 venues have been chosen to host matches for this historic ICC event, making it the largest-ever tournament in terms of venues. Besides Ahmedabad, the other seven host cities include Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Dharamsala, Hyderabad, Lucknow, and Pune.

However, the exclusion of certain major venues has left officials disappointed. Indore’s Holkar Stadium, which regularly hosts international matches and has a rich cricketing history, expressed regret at not being included. The President of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association, Abhilash Khandekar, expressed his disappointment, mentioning that the city had hosted a World Cup match in 1987.

Similarly, Mohali, which has been a host for World Cup matches since 1996 and witnessed the intense India-Pakistan semifinal in 2011, did not make the cut this time. The Punjab Cricket Association expressed disappointment and pointed out the apparent trend of choosing cities with influential office bearers.

Meanwhile, Punjab Sports Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer suggested that political factors might have influenced the decision. He expressed sadness that a stadium that produced many Indian cricket superstars did not receive any matches. “The exclusion of Punjab’s Mohali from the list of host cities for the tournament was due to political interference. The Punjab government will raise this issue with the BCCI,” Hayer told ANI.

On the other hand, the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad has been selected to host the opening match, the final, and the highly-anticipated India-Pakistan clash.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor also voiced disappointment at the omission of Thiruvananthapuram’s SportsHub from the World Cup fixtures, suggesting that Ahmedabad seemed to be emerging as the cricket capital of the country.

In response to concerns about the exclusion of certain venues, Rajeev Shukla explained that the decision was not solely in their control. The Vice President of the BCCI emphasized the need to obtain consent from the ICC before finalizing the selection of venues.

(With ANI inputs)