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Cricket World Cup is more than India-Pakistan clash

Iqbal Jamil

KARACHI: ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 is being held in India amidst the allegation by the Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that Indian Government assassinated Sikh independence activist, Hardeep Singh Nijjar on Canadian soil. The allegation which rocked the world might not be felt on the grounds but must be an itching issue on the corridors of Indian Government during the mega event.
India has related sports with politics and recently did not send their team to participate in Asia Cup which was supposed to be held in Pakistan and also does not play bilateral cricket series with Pakistan on the pretext of sour relations between the two countries. Nevertheless, the investigation of murder of Hardeep Singh Nijjar has been demanded by many countries and Indian Government is under pressure to cooperate regarding the investigation of murder of Sikh activist.
With this background India is hosting the 13th edition of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023. Recently ODI matches are not filling the grounds and it will be also interesting to see that can World Cup 2023 bring excitement to the dying format of ODI. Mark Nicholas, new President of the MCC has said that ODI format should be exclusively for the World Cups The tournament begins on October 5 with defending champion England to face New Zealand in the opening match at Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad, the final match is to be played on the same venue on November 19. Pakistan will play their first match on October 6 at the Rajiv Gandhi stadium in Hyderabad.
Arch rivals India and Pakistan will play their round Robin league match on October 14 in Ahmedabad. Pakistan will play their ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 matches across five venues.
In all 48 matches will be played during the 42 days competition in which 10 teams will flex their muscles on 10 different venues across India.
This is the fourth time that India will be hosting world cup, the first independently. Previously in 1987 India and Pakistan were joint host, in 1996 India, Pakistan and Sri Lana were host and in 2011 India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh jointly hosted the event.
Australia won 5 world cups, will be vying for their sixth title, defending champion England has the potential to defend the title due to Baz ball technique, India will be looking to win the world cup after 12 years for the third time,
Pakistan will be playing after 7 years in India; can they create history by winning world cup on Indian soil, it has to be seen that New Zealand reaches the final for the third consecutive time, will Netherlands rely on individual performances,
can South Africa remove the tag of chokers, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, though under dogs, can rattle the points table at the crucial stage of the competition. Winners of the two initial World Cups, West Indies failed to qualify for the contest.

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