The ICC World Cup 2023 schedule has been unveiled amidst controversy and criticism from political leaders who believe that certain venues have been given preferential treatment while others have been ignored. In response, BCCI Vice President Rajiv Shukla defended the decisions, emphasizing the importance of the ICC’s input in finalizing the venues. Shukla highlighted that this World Cup will have 12 venues, a significant increase compared to previous tournaments. He also explained that warm-up matches will be held in Trivandrum and Guwahati, while the remaining venues will host league matches. Shukla further clarified that the selection of venues was carefully considered, with representation from various zones across the country. He acknowledged the inclusion of new venues like Lucknow and Guwahati, expressing the intention to provide opportunities to regions that have not previously hosted World Cup matches. Shukla made it clear that the final decision on venues lies with the ICC, and the board needs their approval. The exclusion of major stadiums like Mohali, Indore, Rajkot, Ranchi, and Nagpur has sparked political controversy, with Punjab’s Sports Minister alleging political interference. Shukla responded by stating that if the Mohali Stadium had met ICC standards, it would have been included in the hosting lineup. He mentioned that Mohali had hosted Virat Kohli’s 100th Test last year and that a new stadium in Mullanpur is being prepared for future matches. Shukla emphasized that the selection process was not based on picking and choosing, but rather on careful consideration and the ICC’s consent. He reassured that venues have been chosen thoughtfully, including in the North East Zone where Guwahati has been selected. The BCCI plans to address concerns raised about venue selections with the ICC’s involvement and ensure a fair and accommodating schedule for all parties involved. Stay up to date with all the latest sports news and updates on Live Mint by downloading The Mint News App, your source for daily market updates and live business news.
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Hasibur Rahaman is a passionate sports journalist. He covers everything from cricket to field hockey, delivering up-to-the-minute updates and in-depth analysis of sporting events, both within India and on the international stage.