Hyderabad want Pakistan warm-up game on September 29 to berescheduled 

The ODI world cup continues to run into organising hurdles as another state association has requested the Indian cricket board to reconsider dates. The Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) wants the warm-up game on September 29 between Pakistan and New Zealand to be “reconsidered” as the security agencies have expressed their inability to provide adequate security due to the festivals Ganesh Visarjan and Milan-Un-Nabi, that culminate on September 28th. 

The Indian Express understands that the security agencies have once  raised red-flags  over the two back-to-back World Cup 2023 league games scheduled to be held on October 9 and October 10 at the Rajiv Gandhi international cricket stadium in Hyderabad. It is learnt that HCA has once again written an email to the BCCI bosses about their request. The HCA plea has come after the BCCI-ICC (International Cricket Council) put tickets of World Cup games on sale including for the warm-up games. 

The HCA is miffed that there has been no proper communication from the Indian board and that till date they haven’t received an official letter with the revised schedule. The HCA officials have been finding it tough to convince the local authorities who have been asking for official letters from the ICC or BCCI about the revised schedule. The Indian board had sent a letter of confirmation on the previously announced schedule in June, however, there has been no communication after that. 

It is understood the local authorities have once again verbally informed HCA to reconsider the games on October 9 and 10th  as they won’t be able to provide security cover for one of the games. The October 10th game involves Pakistan and Sri Lanka and the match on the 9th is between New Zealand and Netherlands.

The Hyderabad Police had informed the HCA that they won’t be able to handle those two matches especially with the intricate security arrangements required for the Pakistan game. 

Around 3,000 police personnel will be deployed for one game and a large number of police personnel will be stationed at the hotel where the Pakistan team will be put up. The police is learnt to have informed HCA that they won’t be able to provide adequate security for the Pakistan game in case the other game (New Zealand vs Netherlands) is played on the scheduled date. However, despite the HCA request, the BCCI didn’t change the dates and went ahead with their plan. 

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The original itinerary for the 2023 World Cup has already undergone a drastic change with as many as nine games being rescheduled. The India-Pakistan showdown was initially pencilled at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad for October 15, the first day of the Navratri festival, which is celebrated with much fervour across Gujarat. The clash of dates prompted the game to be brought forward by a day.

Also, Kolkata was earlier scheduled to host the Pakistan-England fixture on November 12, coinciding with the Kali Puja, a major festival in Bengal. That game has now been marked for November 11.

These two modifications necessitated several other games to be moved to fit into the holes left in the schedule. For example, when the India-Pakistan game was moved to October 14, there were three matches on that day, prompting a change. Modifications were also required to ensure that teams had a fair gap between fixtures to accommodate travel, rest and training between matches.