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Shouldn’t ODI World Cup opener feature the host team?

Updated on: 04 October,2023 07:18 AM IST  |  Ahmedabad
Santosh Suri |

There is no doubt cricket does not require much publicity in India as fans are guaranteed to flock to the games, especially the Indian matches, but a cultural event to attract worldwide non-diaspora to the mega-event would have been a great move

Shouldn’t ODI World Cup opener feature the host team?

Rohit Sharma

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For the majority of Indian fans, the cricket World Cup begins only on October 8 in Chennai, where the home team take on former champions Australia. Officially, though, it is the finalists of the 2019 World Cup who will get things rolling at the Narendra Modi Stadium here on Thursday. 


Champions England and New Zealand who played a humdinger of a final at Lord’s four summers ago, will be at each other’s throats once again, though not with the same intensity as this is just a lung opener in alien conditions. By the time the home team play on Sunday, eight of the 10 teams would have made an appearance and Indian fans worldwide would be waiting patiently for their team to show up in the 13th edition of the mega event. 


Not so grand opener


As of now, the inaugural match here on Thursday looks a bit low-key, though it is hoped that spectators will fill up most of the 1,10,000 seats at the biggest cricket stadium in the world.  The ICC, in collaboration with the BCCI, should have planned the event a bit better; a world-class opening ceremony would have been a great attraction as well as an advertisement for the event worldwide. Two days before the opening game, there is no information on any ceremony to mark the beginning of the event. 

There is no doubt cricket does not require much publicity in India as fans are guaranteed to flock to the games, especially the Indian matches, but a cultural event to attract worldwide non-diaspora to the mega-event would have been a great move. 

Also Read: Sunil Gavaskar picks England as favourites for ICC Cricket World Cup

Tickets still available

Presently, barring India’s nine matches, tickets to most of the 36 other league matches are still available.

The ICC should have taken a leaf out of the football World Cup and began the tournament with the hosts rather than the finalists of the previous World Cup. Had India played the first game of the tournament the impact would have been mindboggling. Ahmedabad would have been throbbing by now and the whole world’s attention would have been on the inaugural match. Now the focus is on India’s game against Australia on Sunday and then against Pakistan, to be played here on October 14.  

Talking about the opening ceremony, either it is a well-guarded secret or none has been planned at all. Is there any event marked during India’s matches? That is also not known. But one thing is sure, when the final is played on November 19, Ahmedabad will be in focus once again the world over. Hopefully, we will have a final to remember, like the 2019 edition at Lord’s, and a grand closing ceremony to mark the completion of a great event.

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