Indian cricket team will commence its 2019 World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 4, instead of June 2. As per the recommendation of the Lodha Committee, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will have to maintain a mandatory 15-day gap between 2019 Indian Premier League (IPL) final and the flagship event of the international cricket calendar.
The 2019 World Cup will be held in the UK from May 30 to July 14. The matter was discussed during the ICC Chief Executives Meeting in April on Tuesday.
"The 2019 IPL will be played between March 29 and May 19. But we need to maintain a 15-day gap and World Cup starts on May 30. Therefore as per 15 day gap we could have only played on June 4. Earlier, we were scheduled to start on June 2 but we couldn't have played on that day," a senior BCCI official said.
"South Africa are our first opponents. The CEC agreed and the matter has been referred to the ICC board," he further added.
Interestingly, ICC in their various marquee events have always started with an Indo-Pak fixture which is a sureshot sell-out. It happened in the 2015 World Cup in Australia (at Adelaide) and 2017 Champions Trophy in UK (in Birmingham).
"This is the first time Indo-Pak match won't be a starting affair. Since the format will be a round robin affair (all teams playing each other like 1992)," the official added.
Among the other decisions that were formalised included the FTP for the next five year cycle from 2019-23.
"As we had decided, India will play a maximum 309 days of international cricket in this cycle across formats, a reduction of 92 days from the earlier cycle.
"However the number of home Test matches will increase from 15 to 19. All these Tests will be part of the World Test Championship," he added.
It was also confirmed that India will not play any Day/Night Test match for now as it's not a part of World Test Championship.
"All matches in ICC World Test Championship are day matches played with red ball. If that's the case, there is no point in playing pink ball Tests if it doesn't help in preparation for World Test Championship," he concluded.
India will square off against their arch-rivals Pakistan at Old Trafford on June 16 in one of the much-awaited clashes of the ICC World Cup.
In what is expected to be a high-octane clash, India will meet Pakistan two years after their clash in the finals of the 2017 Champions Trophy--which the latter side went on to win by 180 runs.
Meanwhile, arch-rivals England and Australia will face each other at Lord's Cricket Ground on June 19.
Another much-awaited encounter between 2015 World Cup finalists Australia and New Zealand will take place on June 29 at Lord's.
Earlier, Afghanistan and the West Indies qualified for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, to be played from May 30 to July 14 in England and Wales, after finishing as the top two sides in the 10-team qualifying tournament.
The tournament will see the return of the format which was used in 1992. All the ten teams will face each other once, with the top-four sides making it to the knockouts.
The first semifinal will take place on July 9 at Old Trafford, while the second last-four clash will be held at Edgbaston on July 11. The final match of the marquee event will be held on July 14 at the Lord's.
2019 Cricket World Cup Schedule
England and Wales
Thursday, May 30
England vs. South Africa, The Oval, London
Friday, May 31
West Indies vs. Pakistan, Nottingham
Saturday, June 1
New Zealand vs. Sri Lanka, Cardiff
Afghanistan vs. Australia, Bristol
Sunday, June 2
South Africa vs. Bangladesh, The Oval, London
Monday, June 3
England vs. Pakistan, Nottingham
Tuesday, June 4
Afghanistan vs. Sri Lanka, Cardiff
Wednesday, June 5
South Africa vs. India, Southampton
Bangladesh vs. New Zealand, The Oval, London
Thursday, June 6
Australia vs. West Indies, Nottingham
Friday, June 7
Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka, Bristol
Saturday, June 8
England vs. Bangladesh, Cardiff
Afghanistan vs. New Zealand, Taunton
Sunday, June 9
India vs. Australia, The Oval, London
Monday, June 10
South Africa vs. West Indies, Southampton
Tuesday, June 11
Bangladesh vs. Sri Lanka, Bristol
Wednesday, June 12
Australia vs. Pakistan, Taunton
Thursday, June 13
India vs. New Zealand, Nottingham
Friday, June 14
England vs. West Indies, Southampton
Saturday, June 15
South Africa vs. Afghanistan, Cardiff
Sri Lanka vs. Australia, The Oval, London
Sunday, June 16
India vs. Pakistan, Manchester
Monday, June 17
West Indies vs. Bangladesh, Taunton
Tuesday, June 18
England vs. Afghanistan, Manchester
Wednesday, June 19
New Zealand vs. South Africa, Birmingham
Thursday, June 20
Australia vs. Bangladesh, Nottingham
Friday, June 21
England vs. Sri Lanka, Leeds
Saturday, June 22
India vs. Afghanistan, Southampton
West Indies vs. New Zealand, Manchester
Sunday, June 23
Pakistan vs. South Africa, Lord's, London
Monday, June 24
Bangladesh vs. Afghanistan, Southampton
Tuesday, June 25
England vs. Australia, Lord's, London
Wednesday, June 26
New Zealand vs. Pakistan, Birmingham
Thursday, June 27
West Indies vs. India, Manchester
Friday, June 28
Sri Lanka vs. South Africa, Chester-le-Street
Saturday, June 29
Pakistan vs. Afghanistan, Leeds
New Zealand vs. Australia, Lord's, London
Sunday, June 30
England vs. India, Birmingham
Monday, July 1
Sri Lanka vs. West Indies, Chester-le-Street
Tuesday, July 2
Bangladesh vs. India, Birmingham
Wednesday, July 3
England vs. New Zealand, Chester-le-Street
Thursday, July 4
Afghanistan vs. West Indies, Leeds
Friday, July 5
Pakistan vs. Bangladesh, Lord's, London
Saturday, July 6
Australia vs. South Africa, Manchester
Sri Lanka vs. India, Leeds
Tuesday, July 9
First semifinal (1 vs. 4), Manchester
Wednesday, July 10
Thursday, July 11
Second semifinal (2 vs. 3), Birmingham
Friday, July 12
Sunday, July 14
Final, Lord's, London
Monday, July 15
(With agencies inputs)