World Cup 2023: India vs Pakistan match date likely to be changed amid Navratri festival

By Nitin Kumar Srivastava: The highly-anticipated Cricket World Cup 2023 match between India and Pakistan is likely to get a new date amid the Navratri festival. The fixture was originally scheduled on October 15 in Ahmedabad.

The ICC scheduled the match on the first day of Navratri, a significant festival celebrated with garba nights across Gujarat. Due to security concerns, the BCCI has been advised to reconsider the itinerary. Changing the date of the game could create a logistical nightmare for fans who have already made travel plans and booked tickets, as matches between India and Pakistan sell out within hours and generate sky-high television ratings.

The sources told India Today: “India vs Pakistan World Cup match date might be changed as security agencies have alerted to BCCI to change the date because of Navratri festival. A source said agencies have told us about it and we are in discussion soon will take decision. It’s not an easy task, there are so many things involved behind any match so will have to look after each and every thing. Let’s have a final discussion then only can respond. But yes if required to change the date keeping in mind security will do it if the situation comes.”

The Narendra Modi Stadium, with a capacity of nearly 1 lakh, will host four marquee games of the World Cup, including the tournament opener between New Zealand and England, India vs Pakistan, England vs Australia, and the final. The World Cup will be spread across 10 cities, with the semifinals scheduled for Mumbai and Kolkata.

Ahmedabad is already facing a hotel accommodation crunch for mid-October, with homestay options exhausted as well. As a consequence, airfares are expected to surge. If a new date for the India vs Pakistan match is announced, there might be mass cancellations and a frenzy of rebooking by fans aiming to be part of this historic clash.

India and Pakistan’s cricket rivalry is one of the most intense and closely followed in sport, and their World Cup encounters are particularly enthralling and momentous. This coveted match, often referred to as the ‘mother of all cricket matches’, garners the attention of millions worldwide. Given its high viewership and the emotions it stirs, its movement from a popular weekend slot is seen as an unexpected decision.

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