New Zealand and England, opponents in the breathtaking 2019 World Cup final, will kickstart this year’s ODI World Cup at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on October 5. The 45 league matches and the three knockouts will be played in Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Dharamsala, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, Mumbai, and Pune over a span of 46 days. The format will be the same as it was in 2019, with 10 teams playing each other once in the league phase and the top four qualifying for the semifinals.
The build-up to the quadrennial event has been marred by delays in announcing the final schedule and ticketing process, thereby hampering the travel plans of the fans. Jay Shah, the honorary secretary of BCCI, is responsible for ensuring the World Cup ends up being as memorable as the 2011 edition.
Shah responded to queries from Sportstar with less than a month remaining for the World Cup opener.
What does the BCCI have to tell the fans who have been disappointed with the delay in the announcement of the schedule and sale of tickets?
The BCCI understands and shares the excitement and enthusiasm of cricket fans for the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. We acknowledge the disappointment some fans may feel due to the delay in the announcement of the schedule and the sale of tickets. The delay has been primarily caused by the need to ensure that the tournament schedule aligns with various logistical and participating members’ operational challenges and broadcast requirements. As a result, the BCCI has been working diligently to finalise all aspects of the tournament, including venue availability, team schedules, and other essential arrangements. We want to assure the fans that their passion and support are of paramount importance to us. We are fully committed to delivering a world-class tournament experience that lives up to their expectations. We appreciate the patience and understanding demonstrated by cricket fans across the globe. We encourage fans to stay tuned to the official BCCI channels and announcements for updates. We look forward to their continued support and enthusiasm as we count down to the tournament.
How have you managed to overcome the logistical and scheduling hurdles?
Managing logistical and scheduling hurdles for the ICC Cricket World Cup requires a comprehensive and collaborative approach. The BCCI employs several strategies to overcome these challenges and ensure the smooth execution of the tournament.
A. Meticulous planning: BCCI’s extensive planning includes selecting suitable venues, coordinating with local authorities, and aligning with the International Cricket Council (ICC) guidelines.
B. Venue selection: ICC carefully selects venues to ensure they meet the required standards for facilities, infrastructure, and logistics. The venues are chosen strategically to provide optimal travel connectivity and accommodation options for teams, officials, and fans.
C. Weather contingencies: India’s diverse climate necessitates having robust weather contingency plans. Flexibility in scheduling, reserve days, and modern weather prediction technologies are utilised to mitigate disruptions.
D. Collaboration with local authorities: Close collaboration with local authorities, including law enforcement agencies and government bodies, is essential to ensure security, crowd management, and smooth operations around the venues.
E. Effective communication: Clear and timely communication with all stakeholders, including teams, players, broadcasters, sponsors, and fans, helps in managing expectations and addressing any unforeseen issues promptly.
F. Infrastructure development: BCCI invests in upgrading and maintaining facilities at venues, including playing surfaces, dressing rooms, media facilities, and spectator amenities.
G. Technological solutions: Utilising technology for ticketing, live updates, and match scheduling allows fans and stakeholders to stay informed and engaged. Digital platforms also assist in addressing last-minute changes or updates.
H. Transport and accommodation: BCCI works closely with travel and hospitality partners to ensure seamless transportation and comfortable accommodation for teams, officials, and broadcasters.
I. Experience and expertise: BCCI’s experience in hosting various domestic and international cricket events over the years provides valuable insights into managing logistics and scheduling challenges.
We have a dedicated team at the BCCI navigating through logistical and scheduling hurdles to deliver a successful and memorable ICC Cricket World Cup 2023. I am sure the tournament will showcase the best of cricket and India’s hospitality.
For a country as vast and diversified as India, how challenging is it for the BCCI to pull off such a miracle?
Organising a 50-over Cricket World Cup in a country as vast and diversified as India presents both exciting opportunities and unique challenges. The scale and diversity of India require meticulous planning, coordination, and execution to ensure the tournament’s success and seamless experience for players, fans, and stakeholders.
One of the primary challenges is managing logistics and infrastructure across multiple venues spread across the country. India’s geographical expanse entails efficient transportation, accommodation, and venue facilities for teams, officials, and spectators. Ensuring consistent quality and standards at each venue becomes a priority.
The BCCI must also account for potential weather disruptions and have contingency plans in place to minimise any interruptions. Security and crowd management are also crucial. With cricket matches drawing massive crowds, ensuring the safety and security of players, officials, and spectators is of paramount importance. Adding to the complexity is coordinating with various government agencies, local authorities, and stakeholders to secure the necessary permissions and clearances. Despite these challenges, the BCCI’s experience in hosting cricket events and its robust network of resources and expertise play a significant role in overcoming hurdles.
From 2011 to 2023, how much has an event like the ICC Men’s World Cup grown in proportion?
Over the past decade, the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup has experienced significant growth and evolution. The event has expanded in various dimensions, including its global viewership, commercial partnerships, fan engagement, and overall impact. The growing popularity of cricket as a sport, coupled with technological advancements, increased media coverage, and the emergence of digital platforms, has contributed to this growth. The number of participating teams, the quality of matches, and the overall competitiveness of the tournament have also improved, making the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup a highly anticipated and widely watched event on the international cricket calendar. In terms of commercial partnerships and sponsorships, the event’s appeal has attracted a diverse range of sponsors and partners, contributing to the event’s financial success and global reach. These underscore cricket’s ability to capture the hearts of fans worldwide, making it one of the most watched and celebrated sporting events on the global stage.
How confident are you that by November 19, the BCCI will have organised the grandest Cricket World Cup so far without any further hiccups?
We are extremely confident that the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 will be organised as a grand and successful event that cricket fans will cherish. The BCCI is leaving no stone unturned to ensure a seamless and memorable tournament. While challenges are inevitable, we are positive about minimising any potential hiccups.
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