Former Pakistan batsman Basit Ali has urged his countrymen not to create unnecessary controversies over the venues of the upcoming ODI World Cup in India. Pakistan is scheduled to take on arch-rivals India on October 15 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) reportedly expressed reluctance to play at the venue.
He also said that he does not want to face Afghanistan in Chennai and Australia in Bengaluru, according to a report in the news agency PTI. However, Basit Ali feels that playing in the world's biggest cricket stadium could be beneficial for Pakistan as the pressure would be on the home team instead of them.
What did Basit say?
Basit said- I am hearing on news channels and YouTube that Pakistan is not interested to play its matches in Ahmedabad and other places. Why doesn't Pakistan want to play there? The ICC schedule for the World Cup is a big advantage for Pakistan. If 1,25,000 people turn up to watch the match in Ahmedabad, the pressure will be on India, not Pakistan. If India had to play the Asia Cup in Pakistan, the pressure would have been on Pakistan.
The PCB has also questioned the scheduling of their match against Afghanistan, which will be played in Chennai on October 23. With Afghanistan having good spinners in their line-up, the PCB feels that their match against Afghanistan has been deliberately scheduled in Chennai due to the spin-friendly conditions of the Chepauk Stadium.
Basit said- Afghanistan is a weak team. Yes, they have good spinners, but wherever the schedule is decided, you just play. The reasons given are all nonsense. I keep hearing that Pakistan may not be allowed to visit India. Of course, they will get approval. Boss, this is not a local tournament. This is the World Cup.
The PCB had demanded a change of venue for its matches against Australia and Afghanistan. Pakistan has to face Australia on October 20 at Chinnaswamy in Bengaluru and Afghanistan on October 23 at Chepauk, Chennai. The PCB wanted a change in the venues of these two matches or swapped the venues of these two matches. ICC and BCCI turned down the demand of the Pakistan Cricket Board to change the venue of two matches.
Pakistan also demanded to interchange the venue
Pakistan was afraid of the fact that in either of the two matches, they would not enter the field as favorites. For this reason, he had demanded to change the venue. Not only this, but another interesting thing is that Pakistan had also demanded to interchange the venues against Australia and Afghanistan. They wanted the venues to be swapped for these two matches, ie Pakistan played Australia at Chepauk and Afghanistan played at Chinnaswamy. However, all the demands were turned down. Also, it was decided that Pakistan would have to play its matches at the designated venue only.
Pakistan's ODI World Cup schedule in 2023
The Pakistan team will start their campaign against the Qualifier-1 team on October 6. The qualifiers teams will be decided after the ongoing ODI World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe. Pakistan has to play two matches in Hyderabad, one in Ahmedabad, two in Bengaluru, two in Chennai, and two in Kolkata. A total of 10 teams will participate in this World Cup. Eight teams have already qualified for the tournament and the remaining two places are being played in Zimbabwe with a qualifier round, with six teams making it to the Super Sixes. Two of these teams will participate in the main round of the World Cup to be held in India.