London Olympic Stadium misses out on 2019 CWC

Olympic Stadium (File)
Olympic Stadium (File)

London - London's Olympic Stadium will not stage any matches at next year's 2019 Cricket World Cup despite the arena boasting twice the capacity of Lord's, the sport's iconic home which will host the final.

READ: Proteas' CWC draw: The pros and cons

The International Cricket Council released the full fixture schedule for its showpiece men's one-day international tournament, which will take place in England and Wales, on Thursday.

There had been speculation the London Stadium, which has a capacity of some 60 000 - more than double that of Lord's and nearly three times that of The Oval, London's other established international cricket ground, could be used during the World Cup.

But the ground, now home to Premier League football club West Ham, has been ignored because the cost of converting it for cricket - a sport it has yet to stage - was too expensive. 

"It was probably more than 18 months ago that we commissioned drop-in portable pitches to be growing and potentially sent to the London Stadium," said tournament managing director Steve Elworthy, speaking at Lord's.

"But after we understood the unique elements of what cricket would require in that stadium we found ourselves at the point where the infrastructure costs were probably going to be way too much.

"It was disappointing because we spent so much time on it, but I think it was the right decision for the tournament."

England one-day captain Eoin Morgan was glad his side's home advantage would not be nullified by a step into the unknown.

"It's not that disappointing for me," he said. "Certainly as a captain in the side and a player in the side I feel more comfortable that we're playing at grounds where we have a proven record.

"We've got the curtain-raiser at The Oval against a great South Africa side (on May 30), so it should be a great start to a good tournament," added Morgan, looking to lead England to their first World Cup title.

The key first-round fixture between sub-continental rivals India and Pakistan is a day/night clash at Old Trafford on June 16.

Reigning champions Australia will launch their title defence on June 1 against qualifiers Afghanistan in a day/night match in Bristol.

In all, 11 venues will be used with all 10 teams in a slimmed-down World Cup involved in an all-play-all first round before the top four advance to the semi-finals.

Edgbaston, in Birmingham, and Manchester's Old Trafford will stage the semi-finals on July 9 and 11 respectively, with the final at Lord's on July 14.

This World Cup, which has been scaled back to the dismay of many nations outside the Test elite, is similar to the eight-team 2017 Champions Trophy one-day international tournament in England and Wales won by Pakistan.

"We know from previous ICC events that every country will be proudly supported at each of the venues creating an exceptional atmosphere and a real celebration of the game," said ICC chief executive David Richardson.

This will be the first World Cup staged in England since 1999, but fifth in all after the country hosted the opening three editions in 1975, 1979 and 1983.

ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 Schedule: By venue

All matches day matches unless otherwise stated

Cardiff Wales Stadium, Cardiff

June 1 - New Zealand v Sri Lanka

June 4 - Afghanistan v Sri Lanka

June 8 - England v Bangladesh

June 15 - South Africa v Afghanistan (d/n)

County Ground Bristol, Bristol

June 1 - Afghanistan v Australia (d/n)

June 7 - Pakistan v Sri Lanka

June 11 - Bangladesh v Sri Lanka

County Ground Taunton, Taunton

June 8 - Afghanistan v New Zealand (d/n)

June 12 - Australia v Pakistan

June 17 - Windies v Bangladesh

Edgbaston, Birmingham

June 19 - New Zealand v South Africa

June 26 - New Zealand v Pakistan

June 30 - England v India

July 2 - Bangladesh v India

July 11 - Second semi-final (2 v 3)

July 12 - Reserve day

Hampshire Bowl, Southampton

June 5 - South Africa v India

June 10 - South Africa v Windies

June 14 - England v Windies

June 22 - India v Afghanistan

June 24 - Bangladesh v Afghanistan

Headingley, Leeds

June 21 - England v Sri Lanka

June 29 - Pakistan v Afghanistan

July 4 - Afghanistan v Windies

July 6 - Sri Lanka v India

Lord's, London

June 23 - Pakistan v South Africa

June 25 - England v Australia

June 29 - New Zealand v Australia (d/n)

July 5 - Pakistan v Bangladesh (d/n)

July 14 - Final

July 15 - Reserve day

Old Trafford, Manchester

June 16 - India v Pakistan

June 18 - England v Afghanistan

June 22 - Windies v New Zealand (d/n)

June 27 - Windies v India

July 6 - Australia v South Africa (d/n)

July 9 - First semi-final (1 v 4)

July 10 - Reserve day

The Oval, London

May 30 - England v South Africa

June 2 - South Africa v Bangladesh

June 5 - Bangladesh v New Zealand (d/n)

June 9 - India v Australia

June 15 - Sri Lanka v Australia

The Riverside, Chester-le-Street

June 28 - Sri Lanka v South Africa

July 1 - Sri Lanka v Windies

July 3 - England v New Zealand

Trent Bridge, Nottingham

May 31 - Windies v Pakistan

June 3 - England v Pakistan

June 6 - Australia v Windies

June 13 - India v New Zealand

June 20 - Australia v Bangladesh

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