The ongoing tension between the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has led to a clash between the two cricketing bodies regarding the World Cup schedule and venue selection. The PCB has expressed objections to facing Afghanistan in a spin-friendly track in Chennai, but the BCCI has firmly rejected Pakistan’s requests for changes.
Prior to the release of the ICC World Cup 2023 schedule, the PCB was asked by the International Cricket Council (ICC) to provide suggestions and recommendations regarding their itinerary for the tournament. It was during this process that the PCB raised concerns about playing against Afghanistan in Chennai. Reports state that the selectors and experts associated with the PCB were uncomfortable with some of the scheduled matches and venues, particularly the match against Afghanistan in Chennai and the game against Australia in Bengaluru.
However, the BCCI has taken a firm stance and has refused to entertain the PCB’s requests. The Indian cricket governing body is unwilling to make any alterations to the proposed schedule, dismissing the objections raised by the PCB. There have been suggestions to ask the ICC/BCCI to reschedule Pakistan’s matches, proposing that they face Afghanistan in Bengaluru and Australia in Chennai to better suit the team’s strengths.
A source from the BCCI stated that the ICC’s process of asking member boards for suggestions on the itinerary is a standard protocol. However, there must be strong reasons for venues to be changed. The source further emphasized that while a member board can push for a venue change due to safety concerns, such as Pakistan did in 2016 during the T20 World Cup in India, expressing reservations based on the team’s strengths and weaknesses on the field makes it challenging to finalize the schedule.
The clash between the BCCI and PCB over the World Cup schedule and venue selection has added further tension to the already strained relationship between the two cricketing bodies. The final decision regarding the schedule and venues rests with the ICC, and it remains to be seen how the matter will be resolved.