The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 stage is set, and on the eve of the biggest cricketing extravaganza, all 10 captains have gathered at the world’s largest cricket stadium in Ahmedabad.
Over the next 45 days, there will be 48 matches at 10 international venues. Starting with a rematch of the 2019 final, England will take on New Zealand at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
Before that match, the official image of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 was captured by celebrity photographer Rohan Shrestha at the Narendra Modi Stadium. The 10 captains shared their thoughts and expectations for the next six weeks in an interactive panel session hosted by Ravi Shastri and England’s victorious captain Eoin Morgan.
Australia’s captain, Pat Cummins, remarked, “I don’t think there are many events around the world where you feel like half the world is tuning in, and when India plays Pakistan in the Men’s Cricket World Cup, it feels like one of those moments. So, even if you’re not personally involved, you feel like you want to watch it and hear all the commentary and passion about the game. So, it’s going to be fantastic that it’s here in this stadium. You could have over 100,000 people here.”
India’s captain, Rohit Sharma, said, “I’ve always said from the start, you know, every leader sitting here genuinely wants to achieve something special for their country. It’s something that is very precious; a 50-over World Cup is something I’ve always dreamt of since childhood, and I believe sitting here, it’s the same for everyone. One thing I can assure, and I think everyone knows, people here will enjoy this tournament; the stadium is going to be jam-packed because people in India love their cricket as much as they love their team, but they also love their cricket.”
Pakistan’s captain, Babar Azam, said, “We’ve received good hospitality, and we weren’t expecting it, but the way people have given us feedback, everyone has enjoyed it. We’re here in Hyderabad for a week, so it doesn’t feel like we’re in India; it feels like we’re at home. It’s nice, and I think it’s a golden opportunity for everyone to give their 100% and enjoy the Men’s Cricket World Cup.”
England’s captain, Jos Buttler, commented, “The team has been together for a long time, primarily since the start of the revolution you mentioned, and I think you’ve hit the nail on the head there, and I think it’s definitely where we want to continue. Now, in England, the young players play together predominantly, and that style is ingrained, and I think we know that this gives us our best chance of success. Sometimes we might look at it wrongly, but we’ve embraced it, and it’s something we want to continue; we want to challenge ourselves to keep pushing that boundary, and the other teams will keep pushing you and challenging you, so we want to keep trying and stay ahead.”
Afghanistan’s captain, Hashmatullah Shahidi, said, “As mentioned before, we’ll have more crowds and more support; we hope that people will come there and support us in the stadium. We have good quality spinners, and the conditions are suitable for us, and that will be with us, and it will be the same with the batting as well. I think in this Men’s Cricket World Cup, we will talk about our batting; we can do really well; we can play really good cricket.”
In the opinion of Shakib Al Hasan, Bangladesh’s captain, our preparation has been thorough. If we talk about the last four years since the 2019 Men’s Cricket World Cup, we may be the third or fourth team in terms of the qualification points system. So, we’ve performed well as a group; now it’s time for us to perform well. Our team is ready, and the country expects a bit more from us than what we’ve achieved before.”
The captain of the Netherlands, Scott Edwards, remarked, “I believe every match in this Men’s Cricket World Cup will be challenging.. Pakistan is a really good team, as you mentioned. But, yeah, for us, we’re excited to get this tournament started. It’s against Pakistan in Hyderabad.”
South Africa’s captain, Temba Bavuma, stated, “I think it’s something that’s relevant for all teams. A lot of teams have played in India; they’ve performed well in India, so I don’t think I’ll say that it’s necessarily an advantage for us. I think we can only use people who have got experience and knowledge; they can share it within the team or use it as context for our strategies and plans. But I don’t think I would say that as a team, it’s a unique advantage for us.”
Dasun Shanaka, Sri Lanka’s Captain, Embraces the Exciting Times Ahead. We’ve had a bit of a struggle recently, but we’ve also had some good records. You know, as a group, we’ve been waiting for the Men’s Cricket World Cup. Everyone wants to make a statement that we are here to perform well in this tournament.”
New Zealand’s captain, Kane Williamson, commented, “As you’ve mentioned, you come to any other event, and everyone starts from a certain point, and they start from the beginning, and you go into one tournament and into the other, teams change, circumstances change. For us, it’s focusing on the style of cricket that we want to play and that we’re committed to, and it presents the best opportunity for us to perform our best.
In the tournaments we’ve been involved in, it’s been enjoyable, and certainly, filled with different challenges compared to other tournaments. And the difference is that it’s going to bring a great opportunity to India. People enjoy the game a lot, and it will be well-supported, so we’re looking forward to being a part of the Men’s Cricket World Cup.”
Fans can tune in tonight at 19:00 IST on the Star Sports Network to watch a panel session with all 10 captains, which will bring the excitement of the ICC Bringing the 2023 Men’s Cricket World Cup directly to their homes.