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World Cup schedule will undergo changes, confirms Jay Shah

BCCI secretary says several countries want tweaks made to the schedule that was released a month ago

Nagraj Gollapudi
Young girls with the World Cup trophy in Mumbai, July 4, 2023

The uncertainty around the World Cup schedule is not yet over  •  AFP via Getty Images

The 2023 ODI World Cup schedule will undergo a few changes, BCCI secretary Jay Shah has confirmed, with the revised version to be finalised in consultation with the ICC in a few days.
Shah's statement came after it emerged this week that the BCCI was looking at moving the India vs Pakistan fixture in Ahmedabad from October 15 to 14. While Shah did not reveal whether the India-Pakistan date was one of the changes, he did say that boards of several other countries had written to the BCCI pointing out logistical challenges their teams would face, thus requesting changes. He did not name the teams, though.
"There is a possibility there could be few changes in the schedule" Shah said after a BCCI meeting in Delhi on Thursday. "Several Full Member countries have written in requesting to change two or three dates in the schedule. We are working out with the ICC, and we should be able to clear it in two or three days."
The primary reason for the BCCI considering bringing forward the India-Pakistan fixture by a day was because local police had raised concerns over providing adequate security on October 15, which is also the first day of Navratri, a nine-day Hindu festival.
Shah, however, categorically dismissed that as the reason. "If security was an issue then why would the match go there (to Ahmedabad). [October] 14-15 is not the problem. Two or three boards have written in, asking to change based on the logistical challenges. There are some matches where there is only a two-day gap, so it will be difficult to play and then travel next day [and then play again]."
Shah said the venues of matches would remain the same in the revised schedule, but the gaps between games would be adjusted. "As far as possible, we are looking at not changing the venue as well as the matches. Not changing the venue is very important. Teams which have six-day gaps between matches, we are trying to reduce it to four-five days; and those that have just two-day gaps, we are trying to increase to three days."
The World Cup schedule was released exactly a month ago, which itself was a severe delay compared to the previous two World Cups where the schedule was released at least a year in advance. The tournament is scheduled to begin on October 5, with reigning champions England taking on New Zealand in Ahmedabad, but the ICC and the BCCI have not yet announced when the tickets will go on sale.
Shah said the ticketing process for the World Cup - the pricing and the platform - will be announced next week in coordination with the ICC.

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo