Durban: The fixtures for Cricket World Cup 2003 were announced in Durban on Saturday. Fifty-four matches will be played over 43 days in the biggest World Cup yet staged.
|Fourteen teams will be competing, two more than in England in 1999 when 42 matches were played. Hosts South Africa will open the tournament against the West Indies in a day-night match at Newlands in Cape Town on Sunday, February 9. Defending champion Australia play its first match against Pakistan at the Wanderers in Johannesburg on February 11 in a repeat of the 1999 final. The Wanderers will be the venue for the 2003 final on Sunday, March 16. Each of South Africa's six Test grounds will stage five matches, with six other grounds in South Africa also hosting matches. Zimbabwe will play all its six preliminary round matches in Zimbabwe, with three matches in Harare and three in Bulawayo. |
Two matches will be played in Nairobi, Kenya. Only two grounds will stage day/night games - Newlands in Cape Town and Kingsmead in Durban. One of the semi-finals will be played under lights at Kingsmead. It was decided against having floodlit games at inland venues such as the Wanderers because of potential dew in February and March. Ali Bacher, executive director of the tournament, said drawing up the fixtures had been "one of the most difficult projects I have been involved in". He said numerous factors had to be taken into account, including a "reasonable request" by Global Cricket Corporation, the television rights holders, that 12 key matches be scheduled to ensure the maximum possible television audiences. "For instance, they requested that the match between India and Pakistan should be a day game played on a weekend," said Bacher. The match will be played at Centurion on Saturday, March 1.
The fixtures (day games unless stated):
February 2003: Sat 8: Opening ceremony, Cape Town.
Preliminary matches: Sun 9: South Africa v West Indies (day/night), Cape Town. Mon 10: Sri Lanka v New Zealand, Bloemfontein; Zimbabwe v Namibia, Harare. Tue 11: Australia v Pakistan, Johannesburg; Bangladesh v Canada (day/night), Durban. Wed 12: South Africa v Kenya, Potchefstroom; India v Holland, Paarl. Thu 13: West Indies v New Zealand, Port Elizabeth; Zimbabwe v England, Harare. Fri 14: Sri Lanka v Bangladesh, Pietermaritzburg. Sat 15: Australia v India, Centurion; Kenya v Canada (day/night), Cape Town. Sun 16: South Africa v New Zealand, Johannesburg; England v Holland, East London; Pakistan v Namibia, Kimberley. Mon 17: Reserve day. Tue 18: West Indies v Bangladesh (Benoni). Wed 19: England v Namibia, Port Elizabeth; Sri Lanka v Canada, Paarl; Zimbabwe v India, Harare. Thu 20: Australia v Holland, Potchefstroom. Fri 21: New Zealand v Kenya, Nairobi. Sat 22: South Africa v Bangladesh, Bloemfontein; England v Pakistan (day/night), Cape Town. Sun 23: West Indies v Canada, Centurion; India v Namibia, Pietermaritzburg. Mon 24: Zimbabwe v Australia, Bulawayo; Sri Lanka v Kenya, Nairobi. Tue 25: Pakistan v Holland, Paarl. Wed 26: New Zealand v Bangladesh, Kimberley; England v India (day/night), Durban. Thu 27: South Africa v Canada, East London; Australia v Namibia, Potchefstroom. Fri 28: Zimbabwe v Holland, Bulawayo; Sri Lanka v West Indies (day/night), Cape Town.
March 2003 Sat 1: Kenya v Bangladesh, Johannesburg; Pakistan v India, Centurion. Sun 2: Australia v England, Port Elizabeth. Mon 3: Namibia v Holland, Bloemfontein; New Zealand v Canada, Benoni; South Africa v Sri Lanka (day/night), Durban. Tue 4: West Indies v Kenya, Kimberley; Zimbabwe v Pakistan, Bulawayo.
Super Six matches: Fri 7: A1 v B1, Centurion; A2 v B2 (day/night), Cape Town. Sat 8: A3 v B3, Bloemfontein. Mon 10: A2 v B1, Johannesburg. Tue 11: A1 v B3, Port Elizabeth. Wed 12: A3 v B2, Bloemfontein. Fri 14: A2 v B3, Centurion. Sat 15: A3 v B1, East London; A1 v B2 (day/night), Durban.
Semi-finals and final: Tue 18: First semi-final, 1st Super Six v 4th Super Six, Port Elizabeth. Thu 20: Second semi-final, 2nd Super Six v 3rd Super Six (day/night), Durban. Sun 23: Final, Johannesburg.