India vs Pakistan set for October 15 in draft schedule of ODI World Cup

Ahmedabad, which boasts of a stadium that seats over 100,000, is set to host the blockbuster India vs Pakistan clash on October 15 in the ODI World Cup later this year. Ahmedabad will also stage the tournament opener between England and New Zealand, the teams that contested the thrilling tied final in 2019, on October 5, while India are set to open their campaign against Australia in Chennai three days later. These are some of the marquee contests in the initial draft schedule of the 2023 ODI World Cup, prepared by the BCCI.

The BCCI shared the draft schedule with the ICC, which then sent it to the participating countries for feedback before a final schedule is put out early next week.

The draft schedule does not mention the venues for the semi-finals, which are likely to be played on November 15 and 16. The final will be on November 19 in Ahmedabad, which is also scheduled to host the opening game.

ESPNcricinfo has learned that in the draft version, India are scheduled to play their league matches across nine venues. India’s itinerary comprises:

Pakistan are scheduled to play across five venues during the league phase. Apart from the India match in Ahmedabad, Pakistan are slotted to meet the two teams progressing from the Qualifier on October 6 and 12 in Hyderabad, and then Australia in Bengaluru (October 20), Afghanistan (October 23) and South Africa (October 27) in Chennai, Bangladesh in Kolkata (October 31), New Zealand in Bengaluru (November 5, day match) and England in Kolkata (November 12), which in the proposed schedule is the final match of the league phase.

Among other big matches are Australia vs New Zealand in Dharamsala on October 29, Australia vs England in Ahmedabad on November 4 and New Zealand vs South Africa in Pune on November 1.

There has been an unprecedented delay before the fixtures announcement, with the World Cup starting in about four months’ time. In the past two editions of the tournament – 2015 and 2019 – the schedule was finalised more than a year in advance.

ESPNcricinfo Ltd

On May 27, Jay Shah, the BCCI secretary, had said the schedule would be out during the World Test Championship final. He did not provide the reason behind the delay, though. On the first day of the WTC final, speaking on BBC’s Test Match Special, ICC CEO Geoff Allardice said the schedule would be out “anytime soon“, but did not specify when exactly.

The delay in the schedule has also not allowed the ICC to put out ticketing details even as fans from overseas have grown desperate to make travel arrangements.

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