The BCCI released the schedule of the ICC Cricket World Cup which is scheduled to take place in the months of October and November in India, on Tuesday. The World Cup will kick off with the finalists of the previous edition, New Zealand and England facing off on October 5 in Ahmedabad.
The tournament will travel across 10 different venues in the country across nine different states. But venues in Punjab and Kerala were not assigned a single match this time, which has caused outrage amongst several people and they have accused the BCCI of engaging in politics.
Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, the minister of sports for Punjab, was upset that Mohali was left off of the list of cities that will host the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2023."The exclusion of Punjab's Mohali from the list of host cities for the tournament was due to political interference. Punjab government will raise this issue with BCCI," Hayer said.
Another politician, Shashi Tharoor expressed his disappointment over Kerala not getting to host any matches in the World Cup. “Disappointed to see that Thiruvananthapuram's #SportsHub, hailed by many as the best cricket stadium in India, is missing from the #WorldCup2023 fixture list. Ahmedabad is becoming the new cricket capital of the country, but could a match or two not have been allotted to Kerala?,” He said via a tweet
Rajeev Shukla, vice-president of the BCCI, has now replied to these accusations by claiming that the IS Bindra stadium was not chosen because the location did not match ICC standards. Additionally, he claimed that Mullanpur Stadium, which was still under construction, would have complied with the requirements, had it completed its construction.
“Virat Kohli's 100th Test last year was given to Mohali. Mullanpur Stadium is getting ready in Mohali. Had it been ready, they would have got a World Cup match. The current stadium in Mohali did not meet the standards of ICC and hence was denied matches. But that does not matches would not be given to them.” Rajeev Shukla stated.
Bilateral series matches will be given to them, it is based on a rotational system. No 'pick and choose' has been done. ICC's consent is important in finalising the venues," Shukla said. “In Trivandrum, warm-up matches have been given, for the first time. It is not that any centre/zone has been ignored. Stadiums have been chosen after a lot of consideration, even in North East Zone, Guwahati got the matches. A lot of accommodation has been done in the schedule," he added further in an interaction with ANI.