Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium and the Eden Gardens in Kolkata — both iconic venues — have emerged as the frontrunners to host the two semifinals of the 2023 World Cup. This means the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai — another venue with a rich legacy — could lose out on organising one of the biggest games of the ODI showpiece. “Mumbai’s Wankhede and Kolkata’s Eden Gardens are two likely venues for the World Cup semi finals. Earlier, Chennai was also in the race but it seems Eden is slightly ahead now,” a BCCI source told PTI on Monday.
“One of the reasons could be the November weather in Chennai where there is always chance of rain.” Twelve hosting associations were called in Mumbai on Monday to discuss the details and finalise the venues before Tuesday’s official announcement.
If India qualify for the semifinals, they will play their last-four stage game in Mumbai.
The Wankhede Stadium hosted the final of the 2011 World Cup, in which a Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led India beat Sri Lanka to end a 28-year-old title drought, while the Eden Gardens played host to the summit showdown between Australia and England in the 1987 edition, in which the former country prevailed.
There will be 10 teams at this year’s World Cup. As hosts, India have qualified directly, as have Afghanistan, Australia, England, Bangladesh, New Zealand, Pakistan, and South Africa through the 2020-2023 ICC Cricket World Cup Super League.
Two other teams will make it to the World Cup through the World Cup Qualifiers, which is being currently played in Zimbabwe.
Apart from former champions Sri Lanka and the West Indies, the Qualifiers also feature Ireland, Nepal, the Netherlands, Oman, Scotland, the UAE, the USA, and hosts Zimbabwe.
At the World Cup in India, the 10 teams will play each other once in a round-robin league featuring 45 matches.
These will be followed by the semi-finals and the final.
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