The schedule for the much-awaited ICC Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup was announced on June 27 (Tuesday). While there has been a lot of excitement both among fans and members of the cricket fraternity ever since the list of fixtures and their venues has been made live, Punjab Sports Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer isn’t too pleased since Mohali has missed out from the list of venues hosting World Cup fixtures. And the Minister has raised the matter in a letter which he has written to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Roger Binny on Friday.
In his letter, the Punjab Minister wrote urged the BCCI president to allow his state to host a few World Cup fixtures. He wrote that there was “no sense of fair play” in the scheduling of the matches for the marquee event which is set to kick off on October 5 with defending champions England taking on New Zealand in the curtain-raiser at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
“Punjab is renowned throughout the length and breadth of the globe for its age-old traditions of peerless bravery, unmatched hospitality and unwavering faith in secular ideals. This land of warriors blessed by Gurus, Saints, Philosophers, and Poets has nurtured the ideals of peace, compassion, and communal amity since the primordial times,” the minister wrote to Binny as quoted by news agency ANI.
“In the sporting arena too, Punjab has the distinction of being the frontrunner and flag bearer of the Nation. When it comes to the National craze i.e. Cricket, Punjab has the honour of producing legends viz., Lala Amarnath, Bishan Singh Bedi, Mohinder Amarnath, Yashpal Sharma, Madan Lal, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Reetinder Sodhi, Dinesh Mongia, Harvinder Singh, Vikram Rathore, Sharandeep Singh and the latest sensations Shubman Gill and Arshdeep Singh, the list is endless,” he added in the letter.
While Mohali had hosted the India vs Pakistan semifinal during the 2011 World Cup, this time around it hasn’t received a single match which is what has surprised a few. In addition, it also hosted the semifinal of the 1996 edition of the tournament. However, the BCCI Vice-President Rajeev Shukla had already told ANI in an interview that Mohali does not meet the standards set by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and hence will not get to host any World Cup fixtures.
Despite the Punjab Sports Minister’s letter, it is highly unlikely that there will be any change in the schedule of the World Cup or Mohali will be given a match as the fixtures have already been approved by the ICC.