Is Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium being made into new Mecca of cricket?

The omission of Mohali, Indore, Rajkot, Ranchi, and Nagpur has left officials from these venues disappointed.

Is Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium being made into new Mecca of cricket?

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The Mecca of cricket is ever-shifting — from Lord’s in England to Eden Gardens, Kolkata. The reason why these two stadiums are known to be the Mecca of cricket at different times is because of the fans that filled these stadiums.

But has the Mecca of cricket again shifted? Probably, there is an accusation of bringing politics into cricket.  And the questions being asked are many, such as why certain venues have been left out, and why are the opening and closing games of the 13th edition of the World Cup cricket (ODI) have gone to Narendra Modi Cricket Stadium in Ahmedabad?

The schedule for the highly anticipated 2023 Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup has finally been announced by the International Cricket Council (ICC). With only 100 days remaining until the tournament kicks off, cricket fans around the world can now mark their calendars. The tournament opener will take place at Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium on October 5, while the grand finale is scheduled for November 19. The semifinals will be held in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on November 15 and in Kolkata on November 16.


This edition of the World Cup will be the largest in ICC history, with matches being hosted across 10 venues. Alongside Narendra Modi Stadium, Wankhede Stadium, and Kolkata’s Eden Garden, the other seven cities that will stage the matches are Bengaluru’s M Chinnaswamy, Chennai’s Chepuk, Delhi’s Arun Jaitley Stadium, Dharamsala’s HPCA stadium, Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Lucknow’s BRSABV Ekana Stadium, and Pune’s MCA stadium. While it is common for metro cities to host World Cup matches, the distribution also takes into account geographical zones and the suggestions made by the local organizing committee, in this case, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Despite the inclusion of some prominent venues, there are certain major cities that have missed out on hosting World Cup matches. The omission of Mohali’s IS Bindra Stadium, Indore’s Holkar Stadium, Rajkot’s Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Ranchi’s JSCA International Stadium, and Nagpur’s Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium has left officials from these venues disappointed.

Indore’s Holkar Stadium, which has been a regular host of international matches, including a recent Test match in the Border-Gavaskar Test series, was hopeful of being a World Cup venue. Abhilash Khandekar, president of the Madhya Pradesh Cricket Association, expressed disappointment over the exclusion.

“Indore hosted a World Cup game between Australia and New Zealand back in 1987. We feel bad that Indore has been left out. I don’t know the compulsions of the BCCI. Indore has a rich cricketing history and therefore we expected it to be a venue of the World Cup,” Khandekar said.

Mohali, which hosted the highly memorable semi-final clash between India and Pakistan in the 2011 World Cup, is another notable venue that did not make the cut. Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer, Punjab Sports Minister, voiced his opinion that the decision to exclude Mohali seemed politically motivated.

“It is good that World Cup is coming to India but it is sad that a stadium which has produced many superstars of Indian cricket, a stadium that used to be among the top five venues in the country, has not got a single game. On the other hand, the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad is hosting the opening game as well as the final and also the big game between India and Pakistan. To the neighbouring Dharamsala as well you are giving them five games but Punjab has not got even one. That makes it clear that politics is being played,” he said.

Meanwhile, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor expressed his disappointment with Thiruvananthapuram’s SportsHub missing from the list, highlighting the growing prominence of Ahmedabad as the cricket capital of the country.

“Disappointed to see that Thiruvananthapuram’s #SportsHub, hailed by many as the best cricket stadium in India, is missing from the #WorldCup2023 fixture list. Ahmedabad is becoming the new cricket capital of the country, but could a match or two not have been allotted to Kerala?,” Congress MP Shashi Tharoor tweeted.

The announcement of the ICC World Cup 2023 schedule faced a delay this year due to objections raised by Pakistan regarding their travel to India for the tournament. The BCCI rejected Pakistan’s request for a change in venues, and the Pakistan Cricket Board is currently going through a leadership change.

As the countdown to the 2023 Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup continues, cricket enthusiasts eagerly await the thrilling matches that will unfold across India’s iconic venues.