Disappointed Punjab Sports Minister Writes To BCCI After Mohali Misses Out On Hosting World Cup Matches

The ODI World Cup will be played across 10 venues, with Ahmedabad hosting the opening and final matches of the showpiece tournament.

England and New Zealand will play the opening match of the WC on October 5 in Ahmedabad.

Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, the Punjab Sports Minister, has written to BCCI President Roger Binny, requesting him to allot some a few World Cup matches to his state.

India will play host to nine other teams in October, with matches held at Ahmedabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Delhi, Dharamsala, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai and Pune. Hyderabad will also host practice games alongside Thiruvananthapuram and Guwahati.

The opening match of the World Cup will be played between defending champions England and runner-up New Zealand on October 5 at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The venue will also host the final on November 19.

In his letter, the Punjab minister claimed that there was 'no sense of fair play' in selecting the venues for the showpiece tournament.

While making his argument, he said that Punjab had given India numerous cricketers, who turned into top performers, including Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Bishan Singh Bedi and Mohinder Amarnath.

During an interview, BCCI Vice President Rajiv Shukla had said that Mohali did not meet the hosting standards as set by the International Cricket Committee (ICC), and hence was excluded from the list of hosting venues.

Countering this claim, the AAP minister further wrote, "I (Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer) want to know what the ICC criteria are based on which Mohali was considered ineligible for the match. Apart from this, any change made in the norms at present should also be brought to light as the India-Australia International T20 match was played in September 2022. Besides ODI World Cup matches including two semi-finals were also played in the past. It should also be stated whether ICC team visited the Mohali stadium to inspect the standards?"

Hayer had earlier said, "The exclusion of Punjab's Mohali from the list of host cities for the tournament was due to political interference. Punjab government will raise this issue with the BCCI."

India will kick off their campaign against Australia on October 8 in Chennai.

The top-four teams will qualify for the semi-finals, which will be played in Mumbai on November 15 and in Kolkata on November 16. The semi-finals and the final will have reserve days.

(With inputs from ANI)