Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) vice president Rajeev Shukla said a lot of centres and zones have been accommodated in the recently-released ICC Cricket World Cup schedule, and Mohali, Punjab, not getting a single match in the tournament is because the current stadium in Mohali did not meet the standards of ICC, whose consent is extremely important in finalising the venues for the tournament. Shukla's statement comes after Punjab Sports Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer raised objections to the exclusion of Mohali from the WC schedule.
"The exclusion of Punjab's Mohali from the list of host cities for the tournament was due to political interference. Punjab government will raise this issue with the BCCI," Hayer had said.
Matches in every zone for the first time
Shukla said that this time 12 venues have been chosen for the mega cricket event, something that has not happened before.
"For the first time, 12 venues have been chosen for the World Cup. Earlier, these many venues were not chosen in previous World Cups. Out of these 12 venues, warm-up matches will be held in Trivandrum and Guwahati, remaining venues will have league matches. More centres have been accommodated.
From South Zone four venues, from Central Zone one venue, West Zone two, North Zone two venues. Delhi and Dharamshala will host the matches (in the North Zone)," said Shukla.
No politics, just rotational policy
"Virat Kohli's 100th Test last year was given to Mohali. Mullanpur Stadium is getting ready in Mohali. Had it been ready, they would have had a World Cup match. The current stadium in Mohali did not meet the standards of ICC and, hence, was denied matches. But that does not mean it would not be given to them. "
"Bilateral series matches will be given to them, it is based on a rotational system. No 'pick and choosing' has been done. The ICC's consent is important in finalising the venues. In Trivandrum, warm-up matches have been given, for the first time. It is not that any centre/zone has been ignored. Stadiums have been chosen after a lot of consideration, even in North East Zone, Guwahati got the matches. A lot of accommodation has been done in the schedule," he added.
New venues have been
"Lucknow has been added. Uttar Pradesh never got a chance to host a World Cup match. Guwahati has been given a chance. Many venues from the South have been added. A fair amount of consideration was given before venues were finalised. ICC has to approve these venues. It is not purely in our hands. All those raising objections should realise that we need consent from ICC to pick up these venues," he said.
Shukla, on a concluding note, said that the World Cup will be successful and lead to the revival of the ODI format on a global level.