:: Peoples Time Online ::
India will open their 2019 World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5 and square off against arch-rivals Pakistan on June 16, a senior BCCI official told PTI on Tuesday.
The 2019 World Cup will be held in the UK from May 30 to July 14 and India will start on June 5 as the BCCI will have to maintain a mandatory 15-day gap between the IPL final and international assignment as per the Lodha Committee recommendations, TOI reported.
The matter was discussed during the ICC Chief Executives Meeting.
“The 2019 IPL will be played between March 29 and May 19. But we need to maintain a 15-day gap and World Cup starts on May 30. Therefore as per a 15-day gap, we could have only played on June 5. Earlier, we were scheduled to start on June 2 but we couldn’t have played on that day,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
“South Africa are our first opponents. The CEC agreed and the matter has been referred to the ICC board,” he said. The official had earlier stated that the match will be on June 4 but later corrected himself.
The clash against Pakistan will take place on June 16 in Manchester. India have never lost to Pakistan in World Cup.
Interestingly, ICC, in their various marquee events, have started with an Indo-Pak fixture in the past which is almost always a sell-out. It happened in the 2015 World Cup in Australia (at Adelaide) and the 2017 Champions Trophy in UK (in Birmingham).
“This is the first time an Indo-Pak match won’t be a starting affair. Since the format will be a round robin affair (all teams playing each other like 1992),” the official added.