The cricketing world is abuzz with excitement as the International Cricket Council (ICC) has announced the schedule for the much-anticipated ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. Touted to be the biggest cricket World Cup ever, this prestigious tournament is set to run from 5 October to 19 November 2023.
Gearing Up for ICC World Cup 2023
The Opener and the Grand Finale
The inaugural match of the tournament is a thrilling repeat of the 2019 World Cup finals, with defending champions England taking on New Zealand in the city of Ahmedabad on 5 October. This city will also host the grand finale on 19 November, promising a high-voltage cricketing showdown at the Narendra Modi Stadium, the world's largest cricket stadium.
A Ten-Team Extravaganza Across Ten Venues
The tournament features ten teams, eight of which have already qualified through the Cricket World Cup Super League. The final two spots will be filled by the finalists of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier, taking place in Zimbabwe. The World Cup will span ten different venues across the length and breadth of India, encapsulating the country's rich diversity and passion for the sport.
The cities that will play host to this cricketing fiesta are Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Dharamsala, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Pune. In addition, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram will host the practice games, ensuring that the cricket fever spreads far and wide.
Key Matches to Look Forward To
While every match promises to be a nail-biter, some encounters stand out for their history and rivalry. India will face off against five-time winners Australia in Chennai on 8 October, while Ahmedabad will host the ever-anticipated India-Pakistan match on 15 October. The traditional rivals Australia and England will also battle it out in Ahmedabad on 4 November.
The Format and Timings
The World Cup will retain the round-robin format, with each team playing against all others for a total of 45 league matches. Six of these games will start at 10h30 Indian Standard Time (IST) while all others, including the knockouts, will begin at 14h00 IST. The top four teams will then proceed to the semifinals, scheduled to be played in Mumbai and Kolkata on 15 and 16 November respectively.
The ICC and BCCI officials are looking forward to hosting the tournament in India, expecting it to be a grand spectacle given the unique fervour and passion for cricket in the country. With fans both in India and abroad eagerly awaiting the tournament's return to India for the first time since 2011, the 2023 World Cup promises to be an exciting tournament and a celebration of cricket at its finest. As we gear up for this cricket carnival, one thing is certain: every ball bowled, every run scored, and every wicket taken will be etched in the annals of cricket history.
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