The 13th edition of the cricket World Cup starting October 5 is highly likely to not have an opening ceremony and is expected to get underway with a ‘Captains’ Day’ event that will witness the involvement of the captains of all the ten participating countries on Wednesday, October 4.
The ‘Captains’ Day’ will see the photo-op and the press conference and will serve as the official kickstart to the marquee tournament. Interestingly, the last time the 50-overs World Cup was organised in the Indian subcontinent (hosted by Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India) in 2011, there was a majestic opening ceremony organised in Dhaka.
The first fixture of the World Cup 2023 will be a rematch of the previous edition involving the defending champions England and runner-ups (2019) New Zealand. England are coming into the opening match on the back of a four-wicket victory over Bangladesh in their second warm-up game after their first one against India got washed out without a ball bowled.
On the other hand, the Blackcaps have injury concerns to deal with as their designated captain Kane Williamson won’t play in the first match as a precautionary measure and veteran pacer Tim Southee is also in a race against time to gain full fitness ahead of the tournament opener.
However, barring their injury concerns, the Kiwis look in red-hot form. They won both their practice matches and it looks like they can certainly dent England’s hopes of defending their title first up. New Zealand won their first warm-up game against Pakistan by five wickets and defeated South Africa by seven runs (DLS method) in their second match.
The hosts, led by Rohit Sharma will start their World Cup campaign with a match against Australia at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, Tamil Nadu on October 8.
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