Mumbai: With less than two months remaining until the commencement of the highly anticipated ICC ODI World Cup 2023, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is faced with yet another request to modify the tournament’s schedule. The tournament itinerary has already undergone one adjustment due to security concerns, and now it appears the fixture sheet may undergo further revisions. This time, the request for a change comes from the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA).
The HCA has formally communicated its concerns to the BCCI regarding the challenging task of hosting two World Cup matches on consecutive days at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. According to the current schedule, the stadium is slated to host the New Zealand-Netherlands clash on October 9 and the Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka encounter on October 10. The absence of a buffer day between these matches has raised security concerns, prompting the HCA to seek a revision.
Furthermore, adding to the complexity, on October 6, the stadium is set to host another match between Pakistan and the Netherlands. The HCA, aware of the security implications and potential logistical issues, took the prudent step of consulting the Hyderabad Police before submitting the formal request for a change in the fixture.
The root of the problem lies in the fact that October and November are months of numerous festivities and celebrations in India, drawing large gatherings to various locations. This poses an additional challenge for the BCCI in managing security and ensuring the smooth conduct of the World Cup matches.
In a related development, the BCCI has also made a change to the schedule, moving the high-stakes India-Pakistan clash from October 15 to October 14. This adjustment is in recognition of the prestigious Navaratri festival, which falls on October 15th. The alteration is expected to accommodate the religious and cultural significance of the festival while ensuring that cricket fans can still revel in one of the most eagerly anticipated matches of the tournament.