England and Wales will kick off the first match to be held at the new 20,000-seater stadium in Rourkela when the 2023 men’s World Cup begins in mid January.
The Home Nations clash on Jan 13 will start at 5pm local time at the new Birsa Munda stadium before India take to the pitch against Spain in a tough looking Pool D.
Argentina and South Africa will open proceedings at Bhubaneswar, also on Jan 13. Defending champions Belgium will start their campaign against Korea the following day.
All teams will play in both venues – the Odisha venues are some 320kms apart – with England returning to the 15,000-seater Kalinga Stadium after taking on India in Rourkela on Jan 15.
The crossover and last eight matches will be played in Bhubaneswar, with lower ranking matches hosted in Rourkela.
The World Cup semi-finals and final will also be staged at the Kalinga Stadium.
In total, 44 matches will be played, with the final scheduled on Jan 29 (7pm local time).
The 2023 men’s World Cup will also last 19 days, two days longer than the women’s World Cup.
With Odisha staging the World Cup in two different venues for the first time, there have been concerns over logistics for the tournament.
This week, there was concern over flights to the new airport in Rourkela and whether there would be routes in from India’s major cities and to Jharsuguda, the closest airport to Rourkela.
It is not yet known how many hotels there will be in Rourkela for the World Cup other than for the competing squads.
Teams are expected to be housed in a building which was used as a Covid hospital, now upgraded to a hotel.
Full schedule here
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