Report Suggests Pakistan Unhappy with Selection of Two Indian Venues for ODI World Cup 2023

India is set to host the ODI World Cup 2023, but there has been uncertainty surrounding Pakistan’s participation. Previously, there were issues with the Asia Cup 2023, and now Pakistan is requesting a change in venues for two of its matches in the tournament, as reported by news agency PTI on Monday.

The report states that the Pakistan cricket team is not comfortable playing against Afghanistan in Chennai and Australia in Bangalore. It is worth noting that before finalizing the venues for the ODI World Cup 2023, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had asked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for suggestions.

A reliable source from the PCB shared that the board’s data, analytics, and team strategy experts have been tasked with approving the venues tentatively fixed by the ICC and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

“The PCB sent the tentative itinerary for the team to the selectors/experts who apparently are not comfortable with some of the Pakistan team’s scheduled matches and venues. They have reservations about Pakistan playing Afghanistan in Chennai and Australia in Bengaluru,” said the source.

Dangerous Afghanistan bowlers

In the slow pitch of Chennai, the Afghanistan bowlers like Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad can be dangerous, considering their good season in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. The pitch has historically favored spinners, which may not benefit Pakistan’s fast bowlers.

“The suggestion is to ask the ICC/BCCI to reschedule Pakistan’s matches and have them play Afghanistan in Bengaluru and Australia in Chennai, according to the team’s strengths,” claimed the source.

The news agency also interviewed a source from the BCCI who stated that there must be a strong reason for a venue change request. If every team starts making such requests based on their team strengths, it would become difficult to finalize the schedule for the ODI World Cup 2023.

“A member board can push for a venue change due to safety reasons, as Pakistan did in 2016 when they traveled to India for the T20 World Cup. However, it becomes very tough to finalize the schedule when reservations over venues are expressed based on team strengths and weaknesses on the field,” said the source, referring to the Indo-Pak contest in 2016 when the game was shifted to Kolkata from Dharamsala.