The Indian cricket team’s preparations for the Cricket World Cup 2023 hit a roadblock as both their warm-up matches, against England and the Netherlands, were abandoned due to relentless rain.
India’s star-studded cricket squad embarked on a 3,400-kilometer (2,170 miles) cross-country journey for a Cricket World Cup warm-up fixture, only to find themselves unable to play a single ball. Their scheduled clash against the Netherlands in Thiruvananthapuram, located on India’s southern tip, was marred by torrential rain, leaving the players frustrated and eager to get on the field. A similar fate befell them on Saturday when their game against the defending champions, England, in the north-eastern city of Guwahati, also fell victim to the weather.
In total, adverse weather conditions have led to the abandonment of three warm-up matches, while three others have been affected by rain, creating a sense of frustration among teams and players alike as they gear up for the World Cup, set to commence on Thursday.
The Netherlands, too, have faced their share of weather-related woes, with two of their warm-up matches being washed out. The match against Australia on Saturday saw their chase halted after just 14.2 overs due to rain, resulting in a no result.
Fortunately, the weather outlook for the upcoming week in Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and Dharamsala, which are hosting the first three days of the tournament, is optimistic, with sunshine expected to replace the showers.
The World Cup will kick off with England facing New Zealand in a highly anticipated showdown at Ahmedabad, set against the backdrop of the world’s largest cricket stadium, on Thursday. Friday will witness Pakistan taking on the Netherlands in Hyderabad, followed by Afghanistan squaring off against Bangladesh in Dharamsala on Saturday.
In the meantime, explosive opener Yashasvi Jaiswal showcased his prowess by smashing seven sixes during a remarkable maiden T20 century. This performance propelled India’s men to a 23-run victory over Nepal as they commenced their campaign at the Asian Games.
Pakistan also made a strong statement, advancing to the semi-finals with a commanding 68-run victory over Hong Kong, thanks in part to the exceptional all-rounder Khushdil Shah’s impressive bowling figures of 3-13.
While cricket stalwarts like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli are preparing for the one-day World Cup, set to begin on Thursday, the Indian team at the Asian Games boasts a second-string squad but remains formidable. It is composed of promising young talents who have excelled in the Indian Premier League, alongside several players with international experience.