T20 World Cup: Why ICC favoured India by granting second semi-final slot?

ICC grants India second semi-final slot for T20 World Cup to be played in US, West Indies

Sports Desk
Indian players line up during the national anthems before the match against Netherlands, Bengaluru, India, November 12, 2023. — Reuters

India has been granted the second semi-final slot for the upcoming T20 World Cup 2024 by the International Cricket Council (ICC) which raised questions regarding the merit of the latter's decision.

India is in Group A with arch-rivals Pakistan, USA, Canada and Ireland and should the Rohit Sharma-led unit go all the way to the event’s knockout stage, they will play the second semi-final in Providence, Guyana.

The reason behind giving India the second semi-final was the match timings. The first semi-final which is to be played in Tarouba, Trinidad, will start at 8:30 local time, which in India would be 6am on June 27, a timing that is not suitable for the Indian audience, reported ESPN Cricinfo.

On the other hand, the second semi-final will start at 10:30 in the morning locally, which would be 8:00pm in India. The time of the second semi-final is more favourable to the Indian audience.

The final of the World Cup would be a day game, starting at 10am locally on June 29, which is 7:30pm in India.

It has also been confirmed that the second semi-final will have no reserve day, but an additional 250 minutes of extra time will be allotted to the match if it is delayed due to any reason. However, the first semi-final and the final will have reserve days.

Remember, a decisive result of the knockout match for the World Cup could be achieved only if both teams have batted for at least ten overs each, without that, reserve day, for the first semi-final and final, would take place.

Just like in other T20 matches in the past, the team batting second will have to bat for five overs to determine a result in case of any interruption and the same rule will apply for this World Cup. The ten-over rule is for three knock-out matches.

55 games will be played across nine different venues in the West Indies and the United States (US) from June 1 in the World Cup.

The venues in West Indies are Kensington Oval, Barbados; Brian Lara Cricket Academy, Trinidad; Providence Stadium, Guyana; Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Antigua; Darren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia; Arnos Vale Stadium, St Vincent.

Meanwhile, three venues will hold the matches in the United States — Eisenhower Park, New York; Lauderhill, Florida; and Grand Prairie, Texas.

The semi-finals of the event will be played on June 26 and 27 in Guyana and Trinidad respectively while the climax of the World Cup will take place in Barbados on June 29.

Groups for T20 World Cup 2024

Group A: India, Pakistan, Ireland, Canada, United States

Group B: England, Australia, Namibia, Scotland, Oman

Group C: New Zealand, West Indies, Afghanistan, Uganda, Papua New Guinea

Group D: South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Netherlands, Nepal