PCB’s request for venue change in World Cup games denied

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) recently made a request to change the venues for a couple of World Cup games, but both the International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have turned down the appeal. Following a meeting held on June 20, the ICC and BCCI jointly informed the PCB about their decision.

The request involved the games that Pakistan’s team is scheduled to play in Chennai and Bengaluru. According to reports from Pakistani media, the Afghanistan game was assigned to Chennai, while Australia was set to play against Pakistan in Bengaluru. The PCB requested the ICC to switch the venues after the draft schedule of the World Cup was shared with the participating boards.

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However, the ICC and BCCI have stated that there are no grounds to alter the venues at this stage. The selection of venues is the prerogative of the hosts (BCCI), and any changes require approval from the ICC. Venue changes can only be considered if there are security concerns or if a particular venue is deemed unsuitable for international cricket.

Chennai and Bengaluru are considered safe options for Pakistan, offering excellent facilities. Former PCB chief Najam Sethi had also expressed concerns about playing India in Ahmedabad, but that request was not entertained either.

Venue changes have occurred in the past due to security reasons. For instance, in 2016, the India-Pakistan T20 World Cup game had to be moved from Dharamsala to Kolkata.

Although the decision was reportedly made during the meeting, officials from the BCCI and ICC have clarified that the focus of the Tuesday’s meeting was on operational matters. The full schedule for the World Cup is yet to be released by the BCCI and ICC. However, it has been reported that the tournament opener between England and New Zealand, the finalists of 2019, will take place in Ahmedabad on October 5. India is scheduled to play against Pakistan at the same venue on October 15. The final match is set for November 19. The schedule is expected to be announced during an event in Mumbai next week.