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India-Pakistan Cricket Clash at World Cup 2023 Rescheduled Amidst Festival Conflict

The upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 has witnessed a significant scheduling change, with the highly anticipated India-Pakistan match now set to be played on October 14, instead of the original date of October 15. The change in fixtures was agreed upon by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in response to concerns raised by local authorities regarding the clash with the Hindu festival of ‘Navaratri’.

The match between arch-rivals India and Pakistan, one of the most anticipated fixtures in international cricket, will take place at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium, as originally planned. The date change, however, also affects Pakistan’s preceding encounter against Sri Lanka, which will now be held in Hyderabad on October 10 instead of October 12, allowing the team ample rest between matches.

The decision to modify the schedule came about after concerns were raised by the local police, who were apprehensive about providing adequate security on the original date, as it coincides with the commencement of the Hindu festival of ‘Navaratri’. In light of these security concerns, the International Cricket Council (ICC) communicated with the PCB, which eventually agreed to the date change.

However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) Secretary Jay Shah refuted claims that the change was solely influenced by the festival conflict. Shah clarified that the alteration was initiated due to requests from several full ICC members to tweak the tournament schedule, thereby accommodating necessary adjustments.

As a result of the date change, October 14 will now feature a doubleheader, with two other matches taking place on the same day. Bangladesh will take on New Zealand in Chennai, while Afghanistan will face England in Delhi. The latter game, involving Afghanistan and England, is likely to be scheduled for October 13, potentially providing a single-day gap before the India-Pakistan blockbuster match.

The ICC and BCCI faced criticism for releasing the World Cup 2023 schedule with only 100 days remaining before the tournament’s commencement, in contrast to the schedules of the previous two editions hosted by England and Wales in 2019 and Australia and New Zealand in 2015, which were announced more than a year in advance.

The ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 will kickstart with a thrilling encounter between defending champions England and 2019 finalists New Zealand at Ahmedabad. While the excitement among cricket fans is palpable, no official announcements about ticket sales have been made by the BCCI and ICC as of now.

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