The Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) has found itself in a quandary as it grapples with security challenges related to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2023 warm-up games scheduled to take place in Hyderabad. Specifically, the warm-up game between Pakistan and New Zealand, set for September 29, is under scrutiny due to security concerns during the festive season.
Hyderabad is known for its vibrant festivals, and two major celebrations, Ganesh Visarjan and Milan-Un-Nabi, are expected to culminate on September 28. The city’s security agencies have expressed their inability to provide adequate security for the cricket match, citing the immense demand for police personnel during these festive events.
To put things into perspective, it has been reported that approximately 3,000 police personnel would be required for just one cricket game. Furthermore, a substantial number of officers would need to be stationed at the hotel accommodating the Pakistan cricket team.
The authorities have stressed that providing security for the Pakistan game on September 29 would be extremely challenging if the other scheduled warm-up game between New Zealand and the Netherlands proceeds as planned.
The HCA had initially approached the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) with a request to reschedule two games, which were slated for October 9 and 10, due to similar security concerns. These matches involved Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, and the Netherlands. However, it appears that the security agencies are facing difficulties in accommodating these requests.
HCA’s plea for rescheduling comes in the wake of the BCCI and the International Cricket Council (ICC) making tickets available for the World Cup games, including the warm-up matches. The HCA has emphasized the need for proper communication from the Indian board, claiming they have not yet received official confirmation regarding the revised schedule.
Notably, the BCCI has already rescheduled nine games, including the high-profile India vs. Pakistan match, initially slated for October 15 in Ahmedabad. The rescheduling was prompted by the clash with the first day of the Navratri festival, widely celebrated in Gujarat. The match was subsequently moved to October 14, setting off a series of adjustments to the tournament schedule.