With just days remaining until the commencement of ticket sales for the 2023 ODI World Cup in India, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has encountered another challenge. The Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) has appealed for a modification to the ODI World Cup 2023 schedule following apprehensions raised by the Hyderabad Police regarding security arrangements for back-to-back World Cup matches within a span of two days. The HCA asserts that hosting consecutive World Cup games presents security challenges that are less than ideal.
Security measures in Hyderabad are poised to be amplified, primarily due to Pakistan’s prolonged stay at the venue. Ahead of their participation in official World Cup matches, Pakistan is slated to play two warm-up games in the city.
Earlier this month, a total of nine ODI World Cup 2023 matches underwent rescheduling subsequent to a revised schedule announcement by the BCCI and ICC. Among these matches, the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) is set to host the Pakistan vs. Sri Lanka World Cup encounter on October 10, followed by New Zealand vs. Netherlands on October 9. However, the HCA has now formally approached the BCCI with a request for an alteration in the schedule, specifically seeking a gap of at least one day between the two matches.
While no definitive adjustments have been confirmed, an HCA official, speaking anonymously, expressed the rationale behind their request, saying, “Anyone would want a day in between two World Cup games. We are still engaging with security agencies to see if it is possible or not. At the same time, we are also keeping BCCI in the loop.”
BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla acknowledged the concerns but indicated that further changes to the schedule are unlikely. Shukla stated, “It is not easy to change the World Cup schedule and it’s unlikely to happen. Only BCCI can’t change the schedule, teams, ICC, all involved.”
The security deployment by Hyderabad Police for an international match typically ranges between 2000-2500 personnel, varying based on the nature of the match and the anticipated attendance. “Deployment also depends on the nature of the game and how many people turn up. Police make those assessments and deploy accordingly,” revealed a source from the HCA.
As the cricketing world eagerly anticipates the 2023 ODI World Cup, the issue of security underscores the complexity of hosting such a major sporting event while ensuring the safety of players, officials, and spectators. The Hyderabad Cricket Association’s request for a revision in the schedule highlights the ongoing efforts to strike a balance between the sporting spectacle and security imperatives.
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