Pakistan ‘not comfortable’ with two Indian venues for ODI World Cup 2023: Report

India is hosting the ODI World Cup 2023 since the announcement, the participation of Pakistan has remained dicey. Earlier, the Asia Cup 2023 became the bone of contention, then Pakistan said that it will only travel to India after approval from their government and now Pakistan has asking to change venues for its two matches of the tournament, news agency PTI reported on Monday.

Pakistan cricket team is not “comfortable” playing against Afghanistan in Chennai and Australia in Bangalore, the report said. It is to be noted that before the finalization of the venues for the ODI World Cup 2023, the International Cricket Council (ICC) asked Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for suggestions on venues.

The news agency PTI quoted a reliable source from the PCB who shared that the board’s data, analytics, and team strategy experts are given the task of approving the venues which the tentatively fixed by ICC and the Board of Control of 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 like they have reservations on Pakistan playing Afghanistan in Chennai and Australia at Bengaluru,” the source said.

Dangerous Afghanistan bowlers

In the slow pitch of Chennai, the Afghanistan bowlers like Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmad can be dangerous and they are coming from a good season in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2023. Historically the pitch has favoured spinners and Pakistan’s fast bowlers may not get enough pace on the stadium.

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

The news agency also quoted a source from BCCI who aid that there must be a strong reason for the request for change in the venue and if every team starts making such requests on the basis of the strengths of their team then agreeing to a common ODI World Cup 2023 schedule will get difficult.

“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. If you start expressing reservations over a venue as per your team’s strengths and weaknesses on the field, then it becomes very tough to finalize the schedule.

“So unless there is a strong enough reason, no changes are made as far as the venues are concerned,” said the source referring to the Indo-Pak contest in 2016 when the game was shifted to Kolkata from Dharamsala.

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Updated: 19 Jun 2023, 04:52 PM IST

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