World Cup to begin Oct. 5, Ahmedabad hosts final


New Delhi (Reuters) – The Cricket World Cup will begin on Oct. 5 with England facing New Zealand in Ahmedabad with the same venue hosting the final on Nov. 19, organisers said on Tuesday, with the schedule for the showpiece event in India also confirming Pakistan’s participation.

The fixtures were revealed by the International Cricket Council during an event in Mumbai, less than four months before the start of the 50-overs tournament, with the delay partly due to the soured political relation between India and Pakistan.

India’s refusal to travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup in August-September triggered the latest dispute between the bitter neighbours, who play each other only in multi-team events.

Pakistan responded by threatening to boycott the World Cup if they were not allowed to stage at least some matches of the Asia Cup on home soil.

The stalemate was finally resolved earlier this month when Pakistan agreed to split matches with Sri Lanka, where India will play their Asia Cup matches.

The arch-rivals will meet in the tournament’s most anticipated match on Oct. 15 in Ahmedabad.

England’s opener against New Zealand is a rematch of the 2019 final in which they prevailed via a now-scrapped boundary count rule.

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