Punjab Sports Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer wrote a lengthy letter to the BCCI for not choosing Mohali as a venue for the ICC ODI World Cup 2023, set to begin on October 5th in India. Hayer claimed that Punjab is one of the most recognized sporting venues in India and that various athletes hail from the state.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) announced the complete fixtures for the 2023 World Cup on June 27th. They selected ten venues for the tournament, namely Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Dharamshala, and Pune. Mohali, which has hosted some of the most famous World Cup games, including the 2011 World Cup semi-final, had no place.
In a letter seen on Twitter, Gurmeet Singh Hayer questioned what grounds the ICC rejected Mohali as the venue for the World Cup and whether the apex body had even visited the ground. With BCCI Vice-President Rajiv Shukla claiming that Mohali does not meet the criteria, Mayer demanded an explanation for the same.
Gurmeet Singh Hayer cites political interference behind not choosing Mohali:
Earlier, Gurmeet Singh posted a video on Twitter threatened that political interference against Punjab will not be tolerated at any cost, adding:
"Mohali is always the first choice for cricket fans. Discrimination against Punjab will not be tolerated at any cost. 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 BCCI."
The 2023 World Cup begins with defending champions England facing New Zealand at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.