ICC World Cup 2023: Ahmedabad to host the First Match Today
DAY ONE OF ICC WORLD CUP 2023
Finally, the day has come for the cricket fans throughout the world to be immersed in watching one of the most viewed sporting tournament in the world, the ICC World Cup 2023. The first match will be played on 5th October, 2023 between the 2019 Champions England and runners-up New Zealand.
There will be a total of 45 matches to be played in the group stage of the ICC World Cup 2023. Each team will face each other once. There are 10 participating teams this year including the hosts India, Australia, England, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, South Africa, Bangladesh, Netherlands, and Afghanistan.
The four top teams will progress into the knockout phase which will have the semi-finals and the finals.
The ICC World Cup 2023 will be played throughout India in 10 cities namely Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai, Kolkata, Lucknow, Dharamshala, and Pune.
The semi-finals will be played in Mumbai and Kolkata and the finals will be played in the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The first match of the tournament also will be played in Ahmedabad.
There will be high security provided for the matches to be played in Ahmedabad due to threat of a terrorist attack. More than 3500 policemen will be deployed in and around the stadium to thwart any untoward incidents. Many other measures have been put in place for security purpose on the day of the matches.
Physical tickets will be available for purchase from 10 am to 5 pm during match days.
Interestingly, there will be no opening ceremony for this world cup as had been the case with most world cups previously.
Meanwhile, Sachin Tendulkar has been made the global brand ambassador of the World Cup as per news made available by the ICC.
The first match is scheduled to start at 2 pm on 5th October, 2023. This will be a 46-day tournament.
SOME HISTORY ON ENGLAND-NEW ZEALAND RIVALRY IN ICC WORLD CUPS
England and New Zealand have played against each other 10 times in the ICC World Cup and both won 5 matches each. The last time these teams played against each other was in the 2019 World Cup finals where England won the match in the super-over. New Zealand were unlucky to win after restricting England to a tie.
Some hick-ups for both the teams in the opener as New Zealand will play without Captain Kane Williamson and experienced bowler Tim Southee due to injuries. England on the other hand will be without Ben Stokes due to a hip injury.
Going by the recent forms, England have won 4 out of 5 of their last matches whereas New Zealand have won only 2 of their last 5 matches.
TOP PLAYERS TO LOOK OUT FOR ENGLAND VS NEW ZEALAND
The players to look out for in the opening match of the ICC World Cup 2023 for England is David Malan who is the leading run-scorer for England in 2023 with 591 runs at an average of 73.87 which includes 3 centuries and 3 half centuries.
In the bowling department for England, Adil Rashid has 15 wickets to his name from 7 matches with an economy rate of 6.09.
For New Zealand, Daryl Mitchell has made 652 runs with 3 centuries and 1 half century whereas in the bowling department, Matt Henry took 14 wickets in 10 matches with an economy rate of 4.72.
THE PITCH REPORT
Since this is a newly built stadium, not much can be said of the pitch behavior, but going by the few matches played here, it seems to be bowler friendly with the fast bowlers getting assistance, particularly in the evening time. Of the three matches played here, the team batting first has won once and the team batting second has one twice.
With the monsoon season extending itself beyond its regular period in India, there has been rain playing havoc in most parts of the country, but as per the weather report for the match day, the sky is going to be clear with the sun beating down for the most part of the day with no rains predicted. So spectators can enjoy a full day of entertaining cricket.
Here are the possible playing eleven for both teams in the opening match of the ICC World Cup 2023:
ENGLAND: Jos Butler (Captain and Wicket Keeper), Johnny Bairstow, Joe Root, David Malan, Liam Livingston, Harry Brook, Sam Curran, Moin Ali, Adil Rashid,, Mark Wood, and Chris Woakes.
NEW ZEALAND: Tom Latham (Captain and Wicket Keeper), Will Young, Devon Conway, Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips, Michael Santner, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Matt Henry, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, and Ish Sodhi.