Snehasish Ganguly, the president of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB), said on Tuesday that the preparations have started for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 and added that an India vs Pakistan match at Eden Gardens would be a dream match. The schedule for CWC 2023 was announced on Tuesday.
Arch-rivals India and Pakistan will square off at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 this October at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The opening game of the World Cup is scheduled to place at the same venue on October 5 with a match between defending champions England and New Zealand in Ahmedabad, the ICC announced on Tuesday.
“Preparations have started. We started preparations after IPL for the World Cup. We are renovating the stadium, corporate boxes. Ground conditions are excellent. Preparations will start from July 1 for the ground. We had a meeting with our curator. Eden Gardens is ready to host the World Cup. There are some patches here and there, within the next two months, we will resolve all those issues,” said Ganguly to ANI.
On the WC schedule, Ganguly expressed his satisfaction, saying that they got “what we expected, what we wished for.”
“We tried that we get a semifinal match this time and at the last moment, we got a semifinal match at Eden,” he said.
Kolkata will host Qualifier 1 vs Bangladesh on October 28, Pakistan vs Bangladesh on October 31, India vs South Africa on November 5, England vs Pakistan on November 12 and the second semifinal on November 16.
“Everyone’s first choice will be an India vs Pakistan semifinal at Eden Gardens, it would be a dream match,” he added.
On the pitch, Ganguly said that the staff will go for a sporting wicket, which offers high-scoring contests and helps both bowlers and batters.
“In IPL, everyone enjoyed the match since they were high scoring and the wicket condition was good. We will try maintaining it,” he added.
Ganguly said that a decision on tickets price will be taken in the next couple of days.
“We expect the crowd to come, we have a capacity of 65,000. Keeping this in mind, we will have a reasonable price,” he added.
Lastly, he urged fans to come to the stadium to watch the matches or at least enjoy them live on TV.
Ganguly said that the matches will be done smoothly with proper security for all during the Durga Puja days, which will take place during the duration of the tournament.
“Last time also during international matches, Kolkata police managed this festival and an international match well. They cooperated with us. We are confident that matches will be carried out in a big way, with proper security and safety,” he said.
Ahmedabad will host the tournament opener as well as the final. The other venues are Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Dharamsala, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune. Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram join Hyderabad in hosting the practice matches.
Eight teams have qualified for the 46-day event through the Cricket World Cup Super League while the final two spots will be taken by the finalists of the World Cup Qualifier taking place in Zimbabwe.
The tournament retains the round-robin format of last time with all teams playing against each other for a total of 45 league matches.
The top four teams will qualify for the semi-finals to be played in Mumbai on 15 November and in Kolkata on 16 November. The semi-finals and the final will have reserve days.