The Cricket World Cup will begin on October 5 with England facing New Zealand in Ahmedabad and the same venue hosting the final on November 19, organisers said on Tuesday, with the schedule for the showpiece in India also confirming Pakistan’s participation.
The first semi-final will take place on November 15 in Mumbai with Kolkata hosting the second the following day. Both games, as well as the final, will be day-night fixtures. There will be a total of 10 venues for the 10-team tournament – Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Dharamsala, Delhi, Chennai, Lucknow, Pune, Bengaluru, Mumbai and Kolkata.
The fixtures were revealed by the International Cricket Council during an event in Mumbai, less than four months before the start of the 50-overs tournament, with the delay partly due to sour political relations between India and Pakistan.
India’s refusal to travel to Pakistan for the Asia Cup in August-September triggered the latest dispute between the bitter neighbours, who play each other only in multi-team events.
Pakistan responded by threatening to boycott the World Cup if they were not allowed to stage at least some matches of the Asia Cup on home soil.
The stalemate was finally resolved this month when Pakistan agreed to split matches with Sri Lanka, where India will play their Asia Cup matches.
South Asia’s arch-rivals meet in the tournament’s most anticipated match on October 15 in Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi Stadium – the biggest cricket venue in the world by capacity.
However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) added a caveat saying they would still need government clearance for any tour to India, including World Cup match venues. “We are liaising with our government for guidance,” PCB Communications Director Sami Ul Hasan said in a statement. “This position is consistent to what we had told the ICC a couple of weeks ago when they shared with us the draft schedule and sought our feedback.”
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India begin their campaign on October 8 against five-times champions Australia in Chennai. England’s opener against New Zealand is a rematch of the 2019 final in which England prevailed via a now-scrapped boundary count rule.
Among other key fixtures, 1992 champions Pakistan meet Australia in Bengaluru on October 20, while England take on South Africa the following day in Mumbai.
Australia captain Pat Cummins said he was looking forward to the atmosphere at the match with India in Chennai. “You know there’s going to be big crowds, but no bigger than playing India at home in a World Cup game, so that’s going to be exciting for us,” he said.
“It will be a huge challenge, they’re a top-class team but if you want to win a World Cup you’re going to have to be better than everyone else, so why not take on India straight up?”
Emirates Dubai 7s set for 2024 edition – ARN News Centre
Mark your calendars! The Emirates Dubai 7s, the three-day sports and entertainment festival, is set to return to the UAE on Friday, November 29, at The Sevens Stadium.
After record-breaking ticket sales, with over 560 teams comprising of over 6,000 players participating across five different sports tournaments on offer in 2023, fans and visitors can look forward to yet another exciting weekend of music alongside the rugby action on Pitch 1 and 2.
The 2024 edition will host an entertaining line-up of international artists and DJs, with a headline act on Saturday, November 30, as well as Sunday, December 1, this year, with extended music line-ups across all three days.
Dubai 7s will also deliver an amplified experience with additional entertainment stands and activations for children and young adults.
Participation in sports – Rugby, Netball, Cricket – is also growing at the festival, with the addition of a fitness competition, WODON3, for fitness elites as well as novice athletes looking to push their limits, and Rebound (Padel), with registration open at April 1 at 12:00 pm.
Organisers have announced that general admission and hospitality tickets and packages will go on sale later this year, with more details soon to be released online.
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Andy Murray off to winning start in Dubai – ARN News Centre
Andy Murray came back from a set down to defeat Denis Shapovalov in round one of the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships.
The former world number one won 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 to register just his second victory in 2024.
Murray will face either fellow veteran Gael Monfils or French fifth seed Ugo Humbert in the next round.
Elsewhere, Botic van de Zandschulp caused the first upset of the tournament with a hard fought 7-6 7-5 victory over 6th seed Adrian Mannarino.
Meanwhile, American Sebastian Korda dropped just two games en route to a 6-0, 6-2 win over Pavel Kotov, and 7th seed Alexander Bublik overcame qualifer Tomas Machac 2-6, 6-3, 7-6.
India pull off nervy chase to clinch test series v England – ARN News Centre
Shubman Gill and Dhruv Jurel pulled off a nervy chase as India beat England by five wickets in the fourth test on Monday to claim an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series.
Chasing a modest 192 for victory, India cruised to 84 for no loss with openers Rohit Sharma (55) and Yashasvi Jaiswal (37) giving them a flying start.
The English spinners, led by Shoaib Bashir (3-79), then engineered a collapse that left India reeling at 120-5 on the penultimate day of the see-saw contest.
Gill (52) and Jurel (39) combined in an unbroken stand of 72 for the sixth wicket to inflict on England their first series defeat under captain Ben Stokes and head coach Brendon McCullum.
“It has been a very hard-fought series. To come on the right side after four tests feels really good,” home captain Rohit said afterwards.
“I am really proud. A lot of challenges have been thrown at us but we responded pretty well.”
Needing 152 runs on day four with all 10 wickets intact, Rohit and in-form opener Jaiswal looked at ease on a pitch where the odd ball kept low.
Rohit smacked James Anderson over mid-on for a six to signal his attacking intent and Jaiswal, the leading scorer of the series, hit off-spinner Bashir for back-to-back fours.
Joe Root broke the stand in his first over when Jaiswal tried to slice him and Anderson dived full length at short third man to grab the edge.
Rohit duly brought up his fifty but could not soldier on.
Hartley drew the opener out of the crease with a flighted delivery and Ben Foakes whipped off the bails to effect the stumping.
India slumped to 100-3 after Bashir dismissed Rajat Patidar for a duck.
The spinner turned the match on its head after the lunch break when he dismissed Ravindra Jadeja and Sarfaraz Khan with successive deliveries.
Gill and Jurel shored up India defying tremendous pressure. There was a 30-over stretch during which they could not hit a single boundary.
It was only when their victory was in sight that Gill smashed Bashir for two sixes in three balls.
Jurel, whose first innings 90 dragged India back into the contest, was adjudged player-of-the-match in his second test.
“I think it was a great test match,” England captain Stokes said.
“There were so many ebbs and flows, and I’ve got to give so much credit to our spinners Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir for how they performed not only today, but during the whole test match.”
The fifth and final test is scheduled for Dharamsala from March 7.