With less than two months remaining before the start of the ICC World Cup 2023 in India, the schedule of the mega event could be changed once again.
According to Indian media, the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) has requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to tweak the schedule of two games, which it is set to host on consecutive days, due to security concerns raised by the local police.
The New Zealand-Netherlands match on October 9 and the Pakistan-Sri Lanka fixture on the following will be held at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Uppal, Hyderabad.
The Pakistan-Sri Lanka was earlier scheduled for October 12 but the date was later changed to provide Pakistan with enough time between fixtures after their match with India on October 14.
It must be noted that, earlier this month, nine matches of the World Cup were rescheduled but, according to the report, the HCA were not consulted on the matter which is why they were forced to file a request for a change in the itinerary.
“It was Hyderabad Police who told the HCA that they won’t be able to handle two back-to-back games and the security arrangements required, especially 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,” the report added.
With the tickets set to go on sale from August 25, it is still unclear whether the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will accept HCA’s request and change the schedule once again.
The India and Pakistan match was originally set to take place on October 15 but since the tournament’s most anticipated game was clashing with the first day of Navratri, a festival celebrated with mass participation across Gujarat, security agencies had advised the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to tweak the itinerary.
It must be noted that 10 teams will fight for the elusive title across 10 venues from October 5 to November 19, with the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad hosting the tournament opener and the final.
The Cricket World Cup will be played in the round-robin format with all teams playing against each other for a total of 45 league matches.
The top four teams will qualify for the semifinals, which will be held in Mumbai on November 15 and in Kolkata on November 16. The semi-finals and the final will have reserve days.