Empty feeling: General view of the Narendra Modi Stadium in the early part of Thursday

Cricket World Cup hits void as New Zealand beats England

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Devon Conway and Ratchin Ravindra led New Zealand with centuries against an England team that had lost injured talisman Ben Stokes.

After restricting England to 282-9, left-hander Conway (152) and Ravindra (123) put on an unbeaten 273 for the second wicket as the Black Caps finished in 13.4 overs The advantage easily exceeded the target.

The result was in stark contrast to the epic World Cup final between the two teams at Lord’s in 2019, when England won in a draw at the boundary.

“It was incredible and great to have a great day,” Ravindra said.

Despite Joe Root’s 77, New Zealand, led by Tom Latham in the absence of captain Kane Williamson, kept England’s total below Par level.

Conway hit the first ton of the tournament off 83 balls, including 13 fours and two sixes, and soon reached 1,000 runs in 23 ODIs.

The 23-year-old Ravindra soon struck his maiden ODI century off 82 balls with nine fours and four sixes, raising the bat to the handful of fans inside the 132,000-capacity stadium Salute.

“It’s a disappointing day,” admitted England captain Jos Buttler.

“We got beaten by New Zealand but it was still just one defeat in a long game.”

Disappointingly, the crowds were sparse and it looked grim.

Only a few hundred spectators watched the early stages of the match, before officials on the ground claimed that number rose to 40,000 in the later stages.

As Twenty20 cricket explodes in terms of global events and lucrative franchises, the 50-over game is already facing the biggest crisis of confidence in its 52-year history.

“We firmly believe that ODIs should be limited to the World Cup,” Mark Nicholas, the new president of the MCC, the body responsible for the competition’s laws, told cricinfo.

“We think it will be difficult to justify them at a bilateral level now. They are not filling the void in many countries. There is an almost supernatural power to T20 cricket at the moment.”

“In a free market, he who has the most money wins,” he added.

This year’s World Cup only has 10 teams, but the competition lasts 45 days.

By comparison, the 2024 Twenty20 World Cup in the United States and West Indies will see 20 countries competing in the four-week event.

Additionally, the short-form event is widely expected to be selected as a 2028 Olympic sport next week.

Organizers are concerned that stadiums will continue to struggle to attract full crowds at this World Cup – something that is likely to happen at games that do not involve India.

The women’s wing of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party has even issued a message offering as many as 40,000 free tickets to women for Thursday’s match, a senior party leader said.

– The “mystery” of Pakistan –

Pakistan visits India for the first time in seven years after a period of intense brinkmanship that nearly boycotted the World Cup.

Babar Azam’s side received their visas just two days before arriving at their base in Hyderabad, where they will face the Netherlands on Friday.

Their blockbuster clash with arch-rivals India on October 14 saw the match moved up a day due to security concerns.

“I think it’s a bit of a mystery,” Pakistan coach Mickey Arthur said Thursday.

“The Indian public loves cricket. They don’t see people like Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, Shadab Khan, they You can’t see them that often.”

Of the 15 players in the Pakistan team, only two have played in India.

With seats sold out for the India-Pakistan clashes, fans are turning to the black market.

The price for a regular seat, which starts at 2,000 rupees ($24), has increased more than 25 times to 50,000 rupees ($600).

The last time the tournament was held in the subcontinent, in 2011, India was the champion.

In a tournament format, all 10 teams will compete once, with the top four advancing to the semi-finals.

The final will be held on November 19 in Ahmedabad.

DJ/MW

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