(Web Desk) – The International Cricket Council today confirmed the schedule of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, which will be staged in England and Wales from 30 May to 14 July.
England will open the tournament at The Oval on 30 May when they will take on South Africa, while Australia will launch their title defence on 1 June against the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier champions Afghanistan in a day/night match in Bristol.
Reigning ICC Champions Trophy winners and former champions Pakistan will start their campaign against the ICC World Twenty20 winners and two-time former champions the Windies at Trent Bridge in Nottingham on 31 May.
India, the 1983 and 2011 world champions who also won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013 in England and Wales, will play their first match on 5 June against South Africa at the Hampshire Bowl in Southampton. Their feature match against traditional rivals Pakistan will be at Old Trafford in Manchester on 16 June.
Old Trafford in Manchester and Edgbaston in Birmingham will stage the two semi-finals on 9 and 11 July, while Lord’s will play host to a World Cup final for the fifth time, on 14 July. All these three matches will have reserve days.
Eleven world-class venues will be used in the 46-day tournament in which each side will play the other once in a single-league format with the top four sides after 45 matches progressing to the semi-finals.
Old Trafford in Manchester will host maximum six matches, while Edgbaston in Birmingham, Hampshire Bowl in Southampton, Lord’s and The Oval (both in London), and Trent Bridge in Nottingham will stage five matches each. Cardiff Wales Stadium in Cardiff and Headingley in Leeds have been allocated four matches each and County Ground Bristol in Bristol, County Ground Taunton in Taunton and The Riverside in Chester-le-Street have got three matches each.