New Delhi: The ODI World Cup 2023, which is scheduled to start on October 5 in India, will not have an opening ceremony. This decision was taken by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in view of the Covid-19 situation in the country. The BCCI sources confirmed this news to the media, but did not issue any official statement on the matter.
The BCCI had planned a grand opening ceremony for the World Cup, which was supposed to be held on October 4 at the Motera Stadium in Ahmedabad. The ceremony was expected to feature some of the biggest names from Bollywood and the music industry, such as Ranveer Singh, Arijit Singh, Tamannaah Bhatia, Shreya Ghoshal, and Asha Bhosle. They were supposed to perform on some of the popular songs and themes related to cricket and India. The ceremony was also supposed to have a spectacular display of fireworks and a laser show.
However, due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in India and the possibility of a third wave, the BCCI decided to cancel the opening ceremony and focus on the safety and security of the players and the spectators. The BCCI also wanted to avoid any controversy or criticism over spending money on a lavish event amid a pandemic.
Instead of the opening ceremony, the BCCI will organize a Captain’s Day Parade on October 4, where the captains of all the 16 teams participating in the World Cup will be present. They will be introduced to the audience and will share their thoughts and expectations for the tournament.
The World Cup will kick off on October 5 with a blockbuster match between England and New Zealand at Ahmedabad. These two teams had played a thrilling final in the previous edition of the World Cup in 2019, which was won by England on a boundary count after a tie. The most anticipated match of the tournament, however, will be between India and Pakistan, which will also take place in Ahmedabad on October 14. The two arch-rivals have not played a bilateral series since 2013 due to political tensions, and their matches in ICC events always generate huge interest and excitement among the fans.
The complete schedule of Team India is as follows:
|22 October||New Zealand||Dharamsala|
|2 November||Sri Lanka||Mumbai|
|5 November||South Africa||Kolkata|
India’s final squad for the World Cup is as follows:
Rohit Sharma (captain), Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Shubman Gill, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Siraj, Mohd. Shami and Shardul Thakur
India is one of the favorites to win the World Cup, as they have a strong and balanced team with experienced and talented players. They also have the advantage of playing at home conditions, where they have a formidable record. However, they will also face tough competition from other teams like England, Australia, New Zealand, and Pakistan, who have also shown good form and performance in recent times.
The World Cup will be played in a round-robin format, where each team will play nine matches against every other team. The top four teams at the end of this stage will qualify for the semi-finals, which will be held on November 17 and 18. The final will be held on November 21 in Mumbai.