No 2019 Cricket World Cup fixtures at Olympic Stadium
LONDON: London’s Olympic Stadium will not stage any matches at next year’s 2019 Cricket World Cup in England and Wales.
The International Cricket Council released the full fixture schedule for its showpiece men’s one-day international tournament on Wednesday.
There had been speculation that the London Stadium, which has a capacity of some 60,000 — more than double that of Lord’s and nearly three times that of The Oval, London’s other established major international cricket venue — might be used as a World Cup venue in a bid to attract new audiences to the game.
But the ground, now known as the London Stadium and home to Premier League football club West Ham, has been ignored amid reports that the cost of converting into a ground for cricket — a sport it has yet to stage — was too expensive.
Tournament hosts England begin the 2019 World Cup against South Africa at The Oval on May 30.
Meanwhile the showpiece first-round fixture between sub-continental rivals India and Pakistan is a day/night clash at Old Trafford on June 16.
Reigning champions Australia will launch their title defence on June 1 against qualifiers Afghanistan in a day/night match in Bristol.
In all, 11 venues will be used with all 10 teams in a slimmed-down World Cup involved in an all-play-all first round before the top four advance to the semi-finals.
Edgbaston, in Birmingham, and Manchester’s Old Trafford will stage the semi-finals on July 9 and 11 respectively, with the final at Lord’s, the ‘home of cricket’ on July 14.