The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced that India will be hosting Pakistan’s cricket team for the first time in seven years for the upcoming 50-over World Cup.
The tournament is set to commence on October 5, with defending champions England facing off against New Zealand at the impressive Ahmedabad cricket stadium, which will also host the final match. The schedule had been delayed due to Pakistan’s initial refusal to travel to India. However, a resolution was reached when Pakistan agreed to host the Asia Cup in September using a hybrid model. Consequently, the highly anticipated clash between India and Pakistan will take place in Ahmedabad on October 15, following India’s opening match against Australia on October 8.
The ICC stated that each team will play nine matches in a round-robin format, with the top four teams advancing to the knockout stage and semifinals. However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) mentioned that their team would require clearance from Islamabad before participating in the tournament.
The India-Pakistan cricket rivalry is well-known, with the two nations only playing each other in international tournaments, often at neutral venues, due to long-standing political tensions. Consequently, any match between the two teams is a highly anticipated event on the global sporting calendar, drawing in millions of viewers and serving as a platform for promoting nationalistic sentiments.
The last time India and Pakistan faced each other in a bilateral series on either country’s soil was in 2012. Since then, they have only met in the shorter formats of the game and have not played a Test match against each other since 2007.
This year’s World Cup will mark Pakistan’s first cricket tour to India since the T20 World Cup in 2016. India, on the other hand, emerged victorious in the previous ODI World Cup held on home soil in 2011. In subsequent years, Australia and England claimed the title in their respective countries in 2015 and 2019.
Overall, cricket fans worldwide eagerly anticipate the India-Pakistan matches, making them significant events for broadcasters and the sport as a whole.