ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 is exactly 100 days away. The International Cricket Council (ICC) together with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced on Tuesday (June 27) the official schedule for the upcoming tournament, which is scheduled to take place in India for the first time since 2011.
The tournament will kick off on October 5 with the highly successful clash between New Zealand and England at the Narendra Modi International Stadium in Ahmedabad. The semifinals are scheduled for November 15 and 16, while the final will be played on November 19 in Ahmedabad.
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With the tournament some three months away, former cricketers were asked to pick their title contenders for the event. The heavy hitter Sunil Gavaskar surprised many with his selection, as he did not choose India and backed one between Australia, England and Pakistan. Speaking to Star Sports, he said:
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“How many did you say, two or three? England, Australia and Pakistan.
Harbhajan Singh, who was also present for the discussion, believes that England, Australia and India will be great contenders as it is a high-pressure tournament. He explained:
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“For me, because it is a pressure tournament, if I choose three teams, it will be England, Australia and India. I feel that these three teams can be the contenders for the tournament. Since this tournament is in India, I will not underestimate India.”
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Sourav Ganguly did not shy away from naming England, Australia and India. But he also added Pakistan as a fourth contender to win the tournament. He explained:
“I also have the same three. Give me four – I’ll keep Pakistan as the fourth. So England, Australia, India and Pakistan.”
Former Australian cricketer Matthew Hayden sidelined England and supported one between Pakistan, India and Australia. He said that the defending champions will be there as well, as they have a good power shot. He explained:
“I really think Pakistan, India and Australia will be in the final three. Of course England should be there for their striking power and the fact that they are also very good at playing the championship.”
It remains to be seen which of them will lift the title. England are the defending champions, while India last won the title in 2011.
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