World Cup 2023: Pakistan wishing to play their matches at ‘safe venues’ Kolkata and Chennai – Report

As many as 12 venues – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Dharamsala, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Indore, Rajkot and Mumbai – are projected to host the 10-team ICC event. A report by PTI has suggested that each team will play nine league games which will be held in round-robin format.

The report has also added that if given a chance Pakistan would be opting to play all their matches in Kolkata and Chennai – the two venues where they have felt “safe” in the past.

“A lot will depend on what BCCI and the Indian government decide but given a choice, Pakistan will like to play most of its World Cup matches in Kolkata and Chennai. In Kolkata, Pakistan played its T20 World Cup game against India in 2016 and the players were very happy with the security. Similarly, Chennai as a venue remains memorable for Pakistan. It’s also about feeling safe at specific venues,” a source close to ICC Board, tracking developments, told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

The bone of contention will be the India versus Pakistan game, the report has further added. It is understood that discussions are currently ongoing at the ICC level as Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) bigwigs are in talks with top level executives of the governing body on the issue.

“The ICC’s Events committee, in association with hosts BCCI, will chalk out the final itinerary in the next few months so that it allows fans across India and other parts to plan their travel itinerary,” the PTI report has stated.

Since the start of 2011, Pakistan have played only seven matches in India. Bilateral tournaments between the two sides have halted since 2012-13 due to strained political relations.

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