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Reports: Pakistan asks for Cricket World Cup match venue swap for Australia, Afghanistan in India

In a bid to optimize their performance in the upcoming ODI World Cup, the Pakistan cricket team is actively seeking venue swaps for their matches against Afghanistan and Australia. The tournament, scheduled to take place in India from October to November, has already generated significant excitement and anticipation among cricket fans worldwide.

According to ESPNCricinfo report, Pakistan was set to face Afghanistan at the spin-friendly MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai and Australia at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru as per proposed schedule. However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has expressed a desire to swap venues and face Australia in Chennai instead of Afghanistan.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have reportedly finalized the schedule, with the tournament set to commence on October 5. However, the official announcement has been delayed due to logistics issues and the need for extensive discussions among stakeholders.

One of the key points of contention is the proposed match between Pakistan and arch-rivals India, which the ICC has suggested be held at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. However, Pakistan has yet to accept the proposal, citing the need for government permission. This delay has contributed to the postponement of the official schedule release.

The situation has led to speculation that Pakistan’s hesitation stems from concerns over the venues selected by India. Cricket Pakistan reports that analysts from Pakistan are reviewing venue data and have raised concerns about the pitch conditions and practice facilities at certain locations. Some experts even suggest that India deliberately chose venues that may pose challenges for Pakistan, including the spin-friendly pitch in Chennai.

The pitch in Chennai traditionally favors spinners, presenting a considerable challenge for Pakistan, especially against Afghanistan, who possess a strong spin attack. In light of this, Pakistan has formally requested that their matches against Australia and Afghanistan be moved to Chennai and Bengaluru, respectively.

As per the proposed schedule, Pakistan’s first two qualifying matches are set to be held on October 6 and 12 in Hyderabad. The highly anticipated clash against India is tentatively scheduled for October 15, followed by the match against Australia in Bengaluru on October 20.

Pakistan’s matches against Afghanistan and South Africa are planned for October 23 and 27, respectively, in Chennai. They are then scheduled to play against Bangladesh in Kolkata on October 31 and face New Zealand in Bengaluru on November 5. The team’s final group match will be against England in Kolkata on November 12.

While the finalization of the schedule is eagerly awaited, the Pakistan cricket team remains focused on their preparations for the tournament. The venue swaps being sought by the PCB indicate the team’s determination to maximize their chances of success and overcome any challenges that lie ahead.

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