India ready to raise curtain on Cricket World Cup – The Namibian
India goal a 3rd World Cup when cricket’s international showpiece will get underway on Thursday with the nation buoyed by a rising, worldwide self-confidence and with a sport which unites and divides the sub-continent like no different on the verge of becoming a member of the Olympic elite.
The epic event options 10 nations taking part in 48 matches over 46 days at 10 completely different venues.
Nonetheless, the build-up has been removed from clean after arch-rivals Pakistan thought of a boycott when India refused to journey throughout the border for the Asia Cup.
Consequently, the announcement of the schedule for the World Cup was delayed till simply three months earlier than the primary ball was to be bowled.
Fears over safety for the India-Pakistan World Cup blockbuster in Ahmedabad then noticed the match moved again a day, sparking a domino impact of 9 rescheduled fixtures.
Pakistan’s go to to India is their first for the reason that 2016 Twenty20 World Cup however they had been welcomed warmly once they arrived in Hyderabad final week regardless of solely receiving visas simply 48 hours earlier than their departure.
“It’s been an excellent welcome. Folks coming to the lodge and their hospitality has been unbelievable,” stated leg-spinner Shadab Khan.
In a sign of the safety tensions, Pakistan’s opening warm-up match with New Zealand on Friday was performed behind closed doorways at an eerily silent 55,000-capacity Rajiv Gandhi Worldwide Stadium.
Torrential rain has additionally prompted an early headache with two warm-up video games deserted with no ball being bowled and a 3rd a lowered overs affair.
The opening match on Thursday between champions England and New Zealand in addition to the ultimate on November 19 are being staged at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium, named after the prime minister, the world’s largest cricket area boasting a capability of over 130,000.
India will face Pakistan on the mega-venue on October 14.
Town which independence hero Mahatma Gandhi referred to as residence for 15 years is tipped as a possible host metropolis ought to India bid for the 2036 Olympics.
Cricket itself — albeit in its short-format T20 — is anticipated to be named an Olympic sport for the 2028 Video games in Los Angeles when the Worldwide Olympic Committee meets in Mumbai later this month.
The gathering of the most effective gamers of India’s favorite recreation would be the sporting end result of a yr that noticed India overtake China because the world’s most populous nation, after displacing former coloniser Britain as its fifth-biggest economic system in 2021.
– Modi’s international stage? –
Now Modi is looking for a spot on the worldwide stage to match.
Courted by the West – regardless of rights issues – as a bulwark towards Beijing, the prime minister used the G20 summit he hosted this month as a catalyst to place New Delhi as a consultant of many others exterior conventional energy blocs.
His Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Celebration is broadly thought to be a certainty to win subsequent yr’s normal election by a crushing majority.
India are two-time champions having added the 2011 title on residence soil to their 1983 triumph.
They boast famous person Virat Kohli who has made greater than 13,000 runs within the ODI format.
“The reminiscences of previous World Cup victories, particularly the enduring 2011 win, are etched in our hearts, and we need to create new reminiscences for our followers,” stated Kohli.
Pakistan, the 1992 champions, have misplaced seven occasions out of seven to India at previous World Cups.
Nonetheless, skipper Babar Azam will likely be key to turning round that run as he leads the way in which within the batting rankings. His common of over 58 betters even that of Kohli.
Defending champions England, who triumphed in a nail-biting 2019 closing towards New Zealand at Lord’s, can harness the damaging firepower of Ben Stokes who smashed 84 in that recreation which went to a Tremendous Over conclusion.
The event will seemingly see the farewell ODI efficiency of Bangladesh skipper Shakib al Hasan, the top-ranked all-rounder in ODI cricket.
The 36-year-old has made greater than 7,000 runs within the format with 55 half-centuries and 308 wickets.
By no means removed from controversy, Shakib arrives in India after a public spat with axed batsman Tamim Iqbal who he blasted as “infantile”.
Australia are five-time champions and boast veteran David Warner who has amassed over 6,300 ODI runs.
South Africa, who’ve endured a roller-coaster relationship with the World Cup, undone by rain guidelines in 1992 and 2003, have additionally been hit by accidents, shedding key pacers Anrich Nortje and Sisanda Magala.
For Afghanistan, sluggish bowlers Rashid Khan, Mohammad Nabi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, who made his worldwide debut at 16, and Noor Ahmad will likely be key on welcoming Indian pitches.
Sri Lanka, the 1996 winners, will likely be fired up by the indignity of being bowled out for simply 50 and shedding the Asia Cup closing to India by 10 wickets.
Netherlands full the line-up and are match-tough after negotiating the qualifying spherical in July the place two-time champions West Indies crashed out.