Team India will kickstart their 2019 World Cup campaign against South Africa on 5 June and take on arch-rivals Pakistan on 16 June as the International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday announced the schedule of the ODI tournament, which will be hosted by England and Wales from 30 May to 14 July.
The tournament opener will see England and South Africa compete at the Oval on 30 May while current world champions Australia will launch their title defence on 1 June against World Cup qualifier champions Afghanistan in Bristol. Two-time world champions (1983, 2011), India, who also won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013 in England, will play against the Proteas at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton.
The marquee Indo-Pak clash will be one of the six matches to be played at the iconic Old Trafford in Manchester during the 46-day tournament. India have never lost to Pakistan in a World Cup match although they suffered their first ever ICC tournament defeat in the Champions trophy finals last year.
Old Trafford and Edgbaston will stage the two semi-finals on 9 and 11 Julyrespectively, while Lord’s cricket ground will host its fifth final match on 14 July. All these three matches will have reserve days.
Reigning Champions Trophy winners and former champions Pakistan will play their first match against the ICC World Twenty20 winners and two-time former champions the Windies at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on 31 May.
Announcing the schedule ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said, “Next summer fans around the world will be treated to compelling and competitive cricket as the best teams in the world go head to head in this round-robin format for the right to be crowned World Champions.”
ICC Cricket World Managing Director Steve Elworthy said,“Today’s announcement of the schedule is another important moment in the build-up to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 – the moment that the tournament comes to life for teams and cricket lovers across the world. ”
Old Trafford in Manchester will host maximum six matches, while Edgbaston in Birmingham, Hampshire Bowl in Southampton, Lord’s and The Oval (both in London), and Trent Bridge in Nottingham will stage five matches each. Cardiff Wales Stadium in Cardiff and Headingley in Leeds have been allocated four matches each and County Ground Bristol in Bristol, County Ground Taunton in Taunton and The Riverside in Chester-le-Street have got three matches each.
Eleven venues will be used in the tournament in which each side will play the other once in a single-league format with the top four sides after 45 matches progressing to the semi-finals.