World Cup 2023: Pakistan scared of Afghanistan after India, does not want to play in Chennai


The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is not ‘comfortable’ about playing against certain teams in certain venues during the ODI World Cup in India, including against Afghanistan in Chennai and against Australia in Bengaluru. The impasse over the holding of the Asia Cup has ended and Pakistan is expected to visit India for the World Cup to be held in October-November. The much-awaited match between India and Pakistan is likely to take place in Ahmedabad on 15 October.

PCB requested the ICC

Before announcing the World Cup schedule, the International Cricket Council (ICC) has sought suggestions on the proposed schedule from all member boards, including the PCB. A reliable source in the PCB told PTI that the board’s statistics, analyst and team strategy specialist has been tasked with approving the venues where the ICC and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have decided to host matches against Pakistan during the prestigious 50-over tournament. A tentative program of the matches has been prepared.

Pakistan does not want to play in these stadiums

The source said, “The PCB has sent the team’s tentative schedule to the selectors/experts who are probably not comfortable with the schedule and venue of some matches of the Pakistan team.” Like they have objections to playing Afghanistan in Chennai and Australia in Bengaluru. Playing Afghanistan on a spin-friendly pitch in Chennai means that Pakistan will have to face spinners like Rashid Khan and Noor Ahmed, who have done well for Gujarat Titans in the Indian Premier League 2023.

Pakistan scared of playing in Bangalore too

The Bangalore pitch is generally batting friendly and it is difficult to understand why Pakistan has any objection to playing Australia at the Chinnaswamy Stadium. A PCB source said that the selectors have advised the board not to accept Chennai as the venue against Afghanistan as it is a venue which is historically and statistically favorable to spinners.

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

No valid reason to change the venue

However, a BCCI source said that it is part of protocol for the ICC to seek suggestions from members on the schedule and there should be a valid reason for the change of venue. The source said, “Member boards can ask for a change of venue for security reasons like Pakistan did in 2016 when they came to India for the T20 World Cup.” If you start objecting to the venue according to the strong and weak sides of your team, then it will be extremely difficult to finalize the schedule,’ he said, adding, ‘That’s why the venue doesn’t change unless there is a strong enough reason.’

Government will decide on Indo-Pak match in Ahmedabad

When asked about Pakistan agreeing to play the World Cup match against India in Ahmedabad, a PCB source said that it has almost been agreed upon but the final decision will be taken by the government. Pakistan has to play its two opening matches in Hyderabad on October 6 and 12. Apart from this, Pakistan is expected to play in Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Ahmedabad.


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