Security concerns influence World Cup semi-final venue selection as India-Pakistan rivalry takes centre stage

ICC released the schedule for World Cup 2023, and an intriguing surprise emerges If both India and Pakistan reach the semi-finals

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Rohit Sharma and Babar Azam
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Rohit Sharma and Babar Azam. (Photo Source: MARTIN KEEP/AFP via Getty Images)

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has just released the schedule for the Men's One-Day International (ODI) Cricket World Cup 2023. The 2023 edition of the competition will be played with ten teams at ten different venues from October 5 to November 19.

The first and the final game is set to take place in Ahmedabad's renowned Narendra Modi Stadium. Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Dharamsala, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Pune are among the other host cities. Practice games will also be held in Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram, in addition to Hyderabad.

The match between arch-rivals India and Pakistan is undoubtedly the most anticipated match of the entire schedule announcement. This highly anticipated battle will take place on October 15 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

The Indian team, led by skipper Rohit Sharma, will kick off their campaign against Australia at the MA Chidambaram Chennai on Sunday, October 8, followed by a match against Afghanistan in New Delhi on October 11. Pakistan, on the other hand, will begin their campaign by facing two qualifying teams in Hyderabad on October 6 and 12 before facing their arch-rivals.

India will compete in nine of the ten stadiums during the 2023 World Cup, demonstrating their considerable presence. Pakistan's matches, on the other hand, would be held in only five cities, namely, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Ahmedabad.

An intriguing surprise emerges If both India and Pakistan reach the semi-final

The first semi-final will be played in Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium, while the second semi-final will be hosted at the Eden Gardens, according to the schedule issued on June 27. If both India and Pakistan reach the semi-finals, an intriguing surprise emerges.

Due to security concerns raised by the Pakistan Cricket Board over Mumbai, if Pakistan advances to the semi-finals, the match will be played in Kolkata. If India reaches the semi-finals, they will play in Mumbai, unless they are drawn against Pakistan.

Furthermore, the ICC has placed two conditions on the World Cup schedule. If the West Indies qualify, they will be referred to as "Qualifier 1" regardless of their placing in the Qualifiers tournament. Similarly, regardless of where they finish in the Qualifiers competition, Sri Lanka will be labelled as "Qualifier 2" once qualified.

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