Kolkata: India will take on Pakistan in the ICC World Cup 2019 on June 16 at Old Trafford, a BCCI official said on Tuesday. Cut to 10 teams from 14, the World Cup this year will be in round-robin format, where every team will play each other.
At the International Cricket Council (ICC) Chief Executives Meeting here, it was proposed that the big-ticket clash be in Manchester, while India will open their campaign against South Africa on June 5. The recommendation needs to be ratified by the ICC board.
In a bid to maintain the Lodha Committee recommendation, which says a mandatory 15-day gap is required between the Indian Premier League (IPL) final and any international match, the South Africa game was postponed by three days from June 2 to June 5. The 2019 World Cup will be held in England and Wales from May 30 to July 14.
Meanwhile, it was also decided that India will play a maximum of 309 days of international cricket in this cycle across formats, which is a reduction of 92 days from the previous cycle.
The number of home tests will be increased from 15 to 19. It was also decided that India won’t take part in any Day/Night Test match, which was expected against the West Indies later this year. The reason being that the ICC World Test Championship matches won’t be Day-Night tests.
“The 2019 IPL will be played between March 29 and May 19. But we need to maintain a 15-day gap and World Cup starts on May 30. Therefore as per 15-day gap we could have only played on June 4. Earlier, we were scheduled to start on June 2 but we couldn’t have played on that day,” a senior BCCI official said.
“South Africa are our first opponents. The CEC agreed and the matter has been referred to the ICC board,” he further added.
Interestingly, ICC in their various marquee events have always started with an Indo-Pak fixture, which is a sureshot sell-out. It happened in the 2015 World Cup in Australia (at Adelaide) and 2017 Champions Trophy in UK (in Birmingham).
“This is the first time Indo-Pak match won’t be a starting affair. Since the format will be a round robin affair [like 1992],” the official added.