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ICC World Cup to commence on October 5; Final on Nov 19


Mumbai: Arch-rivals India and Pakistan will square off at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 this October at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The opening game of the World Cup is scheduled to place at the same venue on October 5 with a match between defending champions England and New Zealand in Ahmedabad, the ICC announced on Tuesday.

The final will also be held at the same venue on November 19. The first semi-final of the World Cup will be held on November 15 in Mumbai while the second semi-final will be played on November 16 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. India will open their campaign on October 8 against Australia at Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. They will be playing a total of eight matches in the league stage.

The much-awaited encounter between India and Pakistan will be the eighth meeting between the two sides at a men’s World Cup. With their jinx broken in the T20 World Cup, Pakistan will be looking to emulate the same in the 50-over format on October 15. India and Pakistan have faced each other seven times previously – in 1992, 1996, 1999, 2003, 2011, 2015 and 2019. The only time the two sides did not meet since that first match in 1992 was in 2007, which was a disastrous campaign for both teams as they crashed out of the tournament in the opening round. India have won all of the previous seven encounters, a record they extended to the T20 World Cups as well until recently.

That streak was broken in 2021, only for India to reclaim bragging rights with a memorable victory in the 2022 edition with a dramatic chase at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on the back of an unforgettable knock from former India captain Virat Kohli. The last time these teams met in the 50-over World Cup was in 2019 at Old Trafford with India posting a massive 336/5 on the back of a fantastic 113-ball 140 by India captain Rohit Sharma.

A smart bowling performance then helped restrict Pakistan to just 212/6 in a rain-marred match that India won by 89 runs (DLS method). Even more memorable is perhaps the game in 2011, another India home World Cup, which resulted in a thrilling semi-final clash in Mohali. Sachin Tendulkar starred for the hosts with 85 and their bowlers put up a united front to bowl out Pakistan and gain a 29-run victory.



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