Venkatesh Prasad slams BCCI and ICC over mismanagement of World Cup fixtures, ticketing. Image Source: IANS News
New Delhi, Sep 9 : Former India pacer Venkatesh Prasad on Saturday slammed the Board of Cricket Council of India (BCCI) and International Cricket Council (ICC) for mishandling things related to the Men’s ODI World Cup 2023 and called it a pure mess and a matter impacting ‘National Prestige’.
The ICC Men’s ODI World Cup is scheduled to kick off at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on October 5 with a rematch of the 2019 final between England and runners-up New Zealand. As per the official schedule, 48 matches will be played across 10 venues from October 5 to November 19.
Prasad took to social media platform X, (previously Twitter) to express his opinion on the way BCCI is handling things in the run-up to the mega event.
India is hosting the men’s ODI World Cup for the fourth time and Prasad, who played the 1996 edition at home, said the BCCI has messed up the lead-up to the World Cup.
“There is no debate and doubt on the fact that we have messed up the lead-up to the World Cup. Unreasonable delay in the schedule in the first place and if that wasn’t enough changing the schedule hampering 5 matches in the process If that wasn’t enough a completely non-transparent and inefficient ticket system only encouraged black marketeers,” Prasad wrote in his post on the social media platform.
“It is a proud moment to be hosting a World Cup and it should have been a great time for the fans but these difficulties for the fans don’t look unplanned. It’s time we wake up and not make this incompetence a norm just because “Yes Men” around don’t want to speak up. It is a matter of national prestige,” he added.
Around 100 days before the event’s commencement, on June 27, the 2023 World Cup schedule was first made public, as compared to the 2018 World Cup, where the fixtures were made public more than a year in advance.
The schedule then went through additional adjustments, as many hosting associations expressed reservations over a clash of the matches with other important events in the city.
The fixture list was finally amended on August 9, about a month and a half after the first announcement, and with less than two months until the first game of the tournament, scheduled for October 5.
A total of nine games were rescheduled, amounting to one in every six group-stage matches. These included India’s game against archrival Pakistan, the most anticipated first-round clash. England, the World Cup holders, are the most affected team, with three of their nine games rearranged.
Indore, Mohali, Rajkot, and Nagpur are among the venues that have been somewhat surprisingly left out. Notably, Mohali hosted the 2011 ODI World Cup semifinal between India and Pakistan. Sports Ministers of Several states showed their displease with the BCCI decision and alleged discrimination and politics over sports.
However, BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla came up with a clarification and called all allegations “baseless”.
The sudden change in the schedule saw cricket fans struggling to get tickets in India and across the world. BCCI released 400,000 tickets on Friday (September 8) after the initial sale of tickets that ended on September 3.
After the sudden change in the schedule, BCCI faced criticism from fans for releasing the tickets late. The International Cricket Council made changes to the schedule to sort out logistical issues last month.
The delay in the announcement of ticket sales has led to confusion and travelling fans are fretting about the logistical issues that they might face during the World Cup.
Earlier, Venkatesh Prasad also slammed the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) after it decided to have a reserve day for India vs. Pakistan Super 4s clash on Sunday.
The former pacer said it would be unethical if the rules were different for just two teams.