After the draft schedule for the ODI World Cup 2023 was released, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) had made a request to the International Cricket Council (ICC), to switch venues of a couple of matches in the quadrennial tournament. But on June 21, Wednesday, it has been reported that ICC, in collaboration with the hosts, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has rejected the request of Pakistan, while officially informing them about the joint decision after their meeting yesterday.
Pakistan are currently slated to play Australia at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on June 20, while Afghanistan at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on June 23, as per the draft schedule of the ODI World Cup. But the PCB had made the request to ICC to play Australia in Chennai and Afghanistan in Bengaluru, because they thought that the venue switch will make them the favourites to walk out victorious against these two oppositions.
Notably, ESPNcricinfo had obtained an internal memo of the PCB about the matter earlier, which read, “Australia in Bengaluru and Afghanistan in Chennai are the two which we should look to get changed as much as possible. Ideally, we can switch these around. Australia in Chennai and Afghanistan in Bengaluru would make us obvious favourites in both matches.”
The M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai is known to be a venue which assists the spin bowlers. At the same time, Afghanistan boasts one of the best spin bowling attacks in limited-overs cricket, including the likes of Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, and Noor Ahmed, among others, which led Pakistan wanting to avoid playing them in the south coast city.
Meanwhile, the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium is expected to be a batting-friendly venue, where the powerful lineup of Australia with players like David Warner, Steve Smith, and Glenn Maxwell, etc. could take Pakistan bowling to the cleaners. That’s why, PCB wanted to not play them in the capital city of Karnataka.